Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Woodstock Stampings Inc., a Woodstock manufacturer of metal stampings, was fined $75,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.
On December 21, 2009, a worker was setting up a new die set for press in the company’s Woodstock facility. The die did not have lower clamping feet to secure the lower die to the press bed, so the worker used a U-shaped clamp to secure it. When the press cycled during testing, the clamp was ejected from the press and struck the worker in the chest. A bone in the worker’s chest was broken and the incident caused the worker to have a heart attack.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that it was unusual for the facility to use a die set without clamping feet and the company had no protocols in place for dealing with this type of die set.
Woodstock Stampings Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to develop and implement safe procedures for setting up a die set in a non-standard condition.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Gary McMahon. In addition to the fine, the court 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:
Woodstock Stampings Inc. was found guilty of violating section 25 (2)(h) of the OHSA which states,
“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”
I have stated in the past that this particular section of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is used more than any other. It is broad in coverage and will continue to be used until an appropriate section of the sector regulation can be added.
The MOL had also noted that Woodstock Stampings Inc. had no procedures set up to deal with an unusual die setup. Why would they run this without looking at all the possible hazards available and then place proper controls in place.
My suggestion to Woodstock Stampings Inc. is to develop health and safety into the design stage of the operation. It is not a costly venture and it will save the company money in the future as well as develop a safer work environment.
The solution is so easy. ‘Safety’ needs to be a part of the in-plant culture and it starts at the top and works its way down to the workers. Maybe they need to hire a health and safety coordinator.
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’ 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 – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.