Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
On October 28, 2016, a beam being lifted into the air became unbalanced and slid, striking one of the workers and causing critical injuries to the worker. The accident occurred at the Service Mold + Aerospace Inc.’s plant in Windsor, Ontario, where the worker’s employer, CMF Group Inc., was installing new milling machines.
CMF Group crew were installing the second of two new milling machines using two 20-ton overhead cranes. The rigging consisted of a horizontal I-beam used as a spreader bar, hoisted by the two cranes. The two cranes were being operated independently of each other, and the two remote controls had not been synchronized to work in tandem, which would control their speeds.
While the milling machine was being lifted in this manner, one of the two cranes started to move up faster than the other, causing the horizontal spreader beam between them to become unbalanced, with one end of the beam higher than the other. The beam slid, fell and struck a worker who had been standing on a part of the machine, knocking the worker to the floor. The worker suffered critical injuries.
The Ministry of Labour investigation into the incident determined that the cranes were equipped with anti-collision sensors, which would prevent cranes or their loads from operating within five feet of each other.
In addition, the operator manual for the cranes state that it is “the customer’s responsibility to ensure that all sensors and reflectors are kept completely clean and in good working condition at all times.” The anti-collision sensors on these cranes had been covered up, and the sensors did not activate.
Following a guilty plea, CMF Group Inc. was fined $75,000 in Windsor court by Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman; 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
CMF Group Inc. was found guilty failing to comply with the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 93, subsection (3) which states,
“All vehicles, machines, tools and equipment shall be used in accordance with any operating manuals issued by the manufacturers.”
CMF failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed section 93(3) of the Regulation for Construction Projects were complied with, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the OHSA which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
Overhead Crane training! Why did the operator not know of the proximity or anti-collision sensors, and, if they were operating properly through a proper inspection process?
Questions that should have been asked, answered and investigated through a JHA (Job Hazard Assessment or Analysis) prior to any work that is to be done. I cannot believe licensed Millwrights would have used two cranes at the same time? If it was necessary then why were they not synchronized?
Again, a question that needed to be asked and answered especially for a company that did have full ownership of the crane.
I did wonder why the Aerospace company did not receive a fine since the cranes were not in perfect working order as described in section 25 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) subsection 1(a-d) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(a) the equipment, materials and protective devices as prescribed are provided;
(b) the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition;
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace;
(d) the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are used as prescribed.”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs, including Overhead Crane training. 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”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.