Blog Post #1351 – Worker Injured at Transformer Facility in Maple, ON – Company Fined $50,000

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Northern Transformer Corporation of Maple, ON L6A 4P5, a company that manufactures electrical transformers, was critically injured while performing work at the company’s manufacturing facility.

On May, 24, 2019, a worker employed by Northern Transformer Corp., was performing work at the company’s manufacturing facility in Maple, Ontario. The worker was assigned the task of assisting in the repair and movement of an electrical transformer. A co-worker assisted.

The transformer was rigged with four slings attached to designated attachment points and was suspended from a single hook to an overhead rail crane. While being moved, the transformer began to suddenly swing.

The worker attempted to stop the uncontrolled motion without using the guide ropes and was caught between the transformer being moved and a transformer being stored. This resulted in a critical injury.

A Ministry investigation found the employer failed to ensure that one or more guide ropes was used to prevent rotation or other uncontrolled motion while the overhead crane was utilized.

Following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Newmarket, Northern Transformer Corp., was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Karen Walker; Crown Counsel Alicia Gordon-Fagan.

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:

Northern Transformer Corp. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation 851/90, section 51(2)(b)(ii) which states,

“A lifting device shall be operated,

(b) in such a way that,

(ii) where a worker may be endangered by the rotation or uncontrolled motion of a load, one or more guide ropes is used to prevent rotation or other uncontrolled motion.”

Accordingly, the defendant was found to have failed as an employer to ensure the measures and procedures prescribed by this section were carried out at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Ontario 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.”

Anyone taking a course on the ‘Safe Use of Overhead Cranes’ and ‘Lifting and Rigging’ would know the benefits, or the need, to use guide rope(s) if the lifting could possibly rotate on the operator. Most companies have the ropes and ensure that their operators use prevent rotation.

I guess Northern Transformer Corp. did not get the memo.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need including ‘Material Handling’, ‘The Safe Use of Overhead Cranes’ and ‘Proper Lifting Techniques’. 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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