Blog Post #1313 – Burlington Company Fined $90,000 After Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Cogent Power Inc. of Burlington, a manufacturer of transmission equipment for distribution of electrical energy, was injured after becoming caught in moving machinery which had not been equipped with a guard or other device to prevent access to a pinch point, as required by law.

On May 22, 2019, a worker was training another worker on how to operate a forming machine known as the Former #5. The Former #5 is a four-piston hydraulic table press with four dies. This equipment is used to form products known as ’rounds’ which are used in the electrical energy sector.

The Former #5 is normally operated by a single worker who stands at the control panel located on the east side of the equipment. That side of the equipment is equipped with a light curtain to protect the operator. When a light curtain is interrupted, the machine stops and cannot be activated until the worker leaves the hazardous envelope and the light curtain is restored.

While the trainee was operating the controls at the east side, the trainer noticed an issue with the product being formed and proceeded to the west side of the machine to inspect the product while it remained in the Former. The four dies were extended and secure against the product.  The trainer then accidentally dropped a glove into the area.

When the trainer reached out to retrieve the glove, the dies were inadvertently released by the trainee, and the trainer was caught in a pinch point between the moving south die and its housing, causing injury. The trainer was transported to the hospital for medical attention.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development conducted an investigation and concluded the west side of the Former #5, where workers had access, was not equipped with a guard or device to prevent a worker from being caught or pinched between moving parts.

Following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Burlington, Cogent Inc. was fined $90,000 by Justice of the Peace Jean Carter; Crown Counsel Line Forestier.

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:

Cogent Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ 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.

This is contrary to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

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

There seems to be no end of Machine Guarding concerns in the Industrial sector. It is, by far, the most prominent concern and has been for quite a while.

I believe that safety awareness training for the operator, supervisor, manager and the design engineer would go a long way in ending the problem.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Machine Guarding’.

Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal 

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

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