Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
A worker fatality led to a $160,000 fined issued on July 18, 2019 to a Japanese engineering firm.
The fatality occurred at a construction project located in a manufacturing facility in Tottenham, Ontario, according to a statement from the Ministry of Labour. (MOL)
On August 30, 2017, two workers employed by Access Limited were installing a new metal stamping press and feeder. It was determined that it would be safer to do so overnight when the equipment was not being operated by technicians.
The power to the press machine was turned off, but a piece of equipment known as a de-stacker feeder remained powered. On that night, one of the workers briefly left the work area to observe the other worker performing diagnostic testing at the de-stacker feeder control panel.
Upon returning, the worker discovered the co-worker’s body in front of a part of the de-stacker feeder known as the DB bucket car – a small, mechanized cart that travels along rails. There is fencing surrounding the loading area for the bucket car, which has an opening to allow the car to leave the loading area to the unloading area. The body was pinned between the edge of the bucket car and the frame of the fencing surrounding the bucket car opening. There were no witnesses to the incident.
A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the likely cause of the fatality was that the bucket car had started and moved along the rail towards the opening of the fence while the worker, who was performing diagnostic tests on the stamping press and feeder, was within the fenced area. As a result, the worker was pinned within the equipment, causing fatal injuries. The investigation also found that safety interlock circuits installed around a bucket car had been overridden.
The company pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable precautions to prevent the starting of the bucket car where a worker may be endangered by such movement.
Access Limited was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 2(h) which states,
“An employer shall,
(h) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
This was too much for me! A JHA (job hazard analysis) could easily have been completed to allow the work to be done during work hours and have supervisory oversight.
Working alone has other implications as well. Was he/she dead right away or was there enough time to have called 911 to save the life?
The supervisor should have been charged under section 27, subsection 2 (b) and (c) of the OHSA which states,
“A supervisor shall,
(b) where so prescribed, provide a worker with written instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for protection of the worker; and
(c) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
A little pre-planning 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.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
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’, ‘Lockout and Tagout’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.