Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A worker suffered critical injuries from being pulled into machinery that should have been locked out. The company failed to provide information, instruction, and supervision to a worker in relation to safely locking out a drive shaft on a press machine.
The accident happened at the Imprimeries Transcontinental Brampton facility, on August 28, 2018.
A worker suffered critical injuries from a moving chain on the draft shaft of a printing press.
The printing press involved in the incident uses a drive mechanism to move flyers along a conveyor belt as part of the printing process. While operating the press, one worker noticed that the flyers were not coming out in an orderly manner. That worker tried to troubleshoot the problem by turning off the power to the drive shaft and removing a fixed guard that was situated over the area where the chain met the drive shaft.
The worker did not ‘lock-out’ the machine, a process where the controls for powering the drive shaft are locked and all energy is dispersed to prevent any inadvertent starting of the drive shaft.
That worker determined that maintenance personnel were required to address the problem with the drive shaft. The guard was still off the machine and, while the power to the drive shaft was off, the controls were not locked out. Before leaving the press area, the worker advised the other workers to not touch the press and to wait for maintenance to come and fix the problem.
Despite the worker’s direction, another worker came to the area and decided to troubleshoot the problem by trying to clean the chain, then turned on the power to the drive shaft. The drive shaft did not start so the worker proceeded to clean the chain further, but did not turn off the power prior to doing so. The drive shaft started suddenly and the worker was injured.
The Ministry of Labour investigated the incident and determined that the injured worker had not been trained on the hazards associated with not safely locking out the press machine. Further, workers were not provided with locks to ensure controls are locked out. Only maintenance personnel were provided with locks.
The investigation further found that press workers did, as a common aspect of their work, troubleshoot problems with the printing presses without locking out the controls. It was left to their discretion whether to attempt to troubleshoot or call maintenance. Had the drive shaft been locked out by the first worker or anyone else, with the power dispersed and the controls locked to prevent starting, the injured worker would not have been able to start the drive shaft.
Following a guilty plea, the company was fined $65,000 in provincial offences court in Brampton by Justice of the Peace Richard Quon.
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:
Imprimeries Transcontinental was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 2(a) which states,
“An employer shall,
- provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”
The law is very specific. The worker MUST receive ALL the information to do the job. In this case, the lockout and tagout procedures were not passed to the operator and the accident occurred.
To not give the operator locks to accomplish a LOTO is unacceptable. Section 42, subsections (1) and (2) of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 state,
(1) The power supply to electrical installations, equipment or conductors shall be disconnected, locked out of service and tagged before any work is done, and while it is being done, on or near live exposed parts of the installations, equipment or conductors
(2) Before beginning the work, each worker shall determine if the requirements of subsection (1) have been complied with.
As the reader can see, there was a major step missed and there are many examples of legislation the company could have been charged under.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Electrical Safety Awareness’ and ‘Lockout and Tagout’. 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.