Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Android-Brampton LLC, a Brampton company that provides module assembly and supply chain management services used in vehicles, received a critical injury when machinery fell and struck the worker.

On July 12, 2018, a worker was working at the facility’s Rear Differential Station 4-1 assembly line, installing half-shafts into automotive rear differential units for Fiat Chrysler automobiles.

To do so, the worker used the Knight Air Lift Assist device at the station. The Knight Air Lift Assist Device is a pneumatic operator lift-assist arm, used to pick up an item (in this case, the rear differential unit) from the shipping box and place it on an installation fixture at a workstation on the assembly line.

The Knight Air Lift Assist Device is suspended from an overhead bridge or gantry crane. The main components are a vertical gantry frame, a crane bridge (that is, a horizontal beam which spans across the gantry frame) and two runway beams positioned in the same plane, but perpendicular to the crane bridge.

As the worker was using the Knight Air Lift Assist arm, the southern end of the crane bridge /horizontal beam detached from the left side overhead trolley assembly and fell. This caused the pneumatic device and attached Knight Air Lift Assist device to also fall and strike the worker. The injury required hospitalization.

The Ministry of Labour’s investigation into the cause of the incident determined that the secondary restraint cable holding the crane bridge to the trolley had snapped. Indentation marks on the body of the trolley showed that the secondary restraint cable had held the weight of the crane bridge for some time before snapping.

The Ministry of Labour investigation determined that failure of the crane was a recurring event, given a previous overhead crane failure in 2017, and that Android-Brampton had not implemented measures to prevent this failure from recurring.

Android-Brampton failed to ensure that the trolley assembly eyebolt connectors and stop plates on the Rear-Differential Station 4-1 overhead crane bridge were maintained in good condition, contrary to section 25(1)(b) of the act.

Following a guilty plea, Android-Brampton LLC was fined $65,000 in provincial offences court in Brampton by Justice of the Peace Samantha Burton; Crown Counsel Judy L. Chan.

The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Android-Brampton LLC was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 1(b) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(b)  the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition.”

Section 25, subsection 1(b) is there to ensure that a worker can rely on the employer to fix a machine when required and to take a request about a machine in need of repair seriously.

I heard about a situation, many years ago, where an employer needed to understand this certain section of the OHSA and, after being instructed on the sections, fixed the machines as requested. It is there in black and white and should never be ignored.

CSA B167 – 16, “Overhead cranes, gantry cranes, monorails, hoists, and jib cranes” covers the need for inspections on the overhead crane. Too bad these guys never read the standard. Training would have gone a long way in the protection of the worker.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.