Blog Post #442 – Gates Canada Inc. Fined $55,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Gates Canada Inc., an Alberta automotive part manufacturer, was fined $55,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On April 12, 2010, at the company’s workplace in Hamilton, workers were clearing pallets that had jammed on an assembly line. One worker had a hand on the conveyor of a machine when part of the machine cycled down, crushing the worker’s hand and causing muscle damage.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the power to that part of the assembly line had been disconnected, but there was still residual energy in one of the machine’s cylinders, causing it to cycle.

Gates Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the machine was blocked to prevent movement while it was being maintained.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Hugh Brown. 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Gates Canada Inc. was found guilty of violating section 75 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“A part of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when,

a) Motion that may endanger a worker has stopped; and
b) Any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent the movement.”

The entire program for lockout and tagout MUST include the recognition of any and all residual energies that may exist in batteries, capacitors, tanks (pneumatic) and cylinders (hydraulic). The recognition of these hazards can be an integral part of the program. Once identified, the worker must review and ensure that there is a ‘Zero Energy State’ in existence so that there is no possible way the worker can be injured.

These types of injuries happen over and over again. I just wish all employers would review sections 25 and 26 of the OHSA to fully understand their responsibilities under the Law!

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’, ‘Lockout and Tagout’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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