Blog Post #715 – Autoneum Canada Ltd. Fined $55,000 after Worker Injured

Blog Post #715 – Autoneum Canada Ltd. Fined $55,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Autoneum Canada Ltd., a company that manufactures noise reduction and heat shield components for vehicles, has been fined $55,000 after a worker was injured by an unguarded mechanism.

On April 13, 2013, a worker at the company’s Tillsonburg plant at 1451 Bell Mill Sideroad was tidying around a machine that compresses fibers that are used to form products that insulate and reduce noise in motor vehicles. While cleaning up around the base of the machine, the worker noticed that a piece of waste material had found its way into the space between the belt underside and the belt pulleys. The worker reached into the space to pick up the waste. The worker’s hand, which had a glove on it at the time, was pulled into the machine in the pinch point created between the drive roller and the belt it was tensioned up against.

As a result of the incident, the worker sustained multiple fractures to an arm.

Autoneum Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that an an in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker was equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point. The company was fined $55,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson on September 5, 2013.

In addition to the fine, the court 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:

Autoneum Canada Ltd., was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ Regulation 851/90, section 25, which states,

“An in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point.”

Autoneum Canada Ltd., was also found guilty of violating section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

Autoneum Canada Ltd. failed to recognize the possibility that a pinch point MAY exist when designing the machine. All moving parts of a machine MUST be guarded. Usually, section 24 applies but there are many cases where an in-running nip hazard also exists and the employee is hurt or killed.

Please ensure that your workplace is a safe place. Recognize all hazards and place controls to ensure employee safety. This is the law and the heart of the matter for most of the different blog posts.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Machine Guarding’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

Dan
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