Blog Post #712 – QBD Cooling Systems Inc. Fined $65,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

QBD Cooling Systems Inc., a Brampton company that operates a manufacturing facility for commercial refrigerators, has been fined $65,000 after a worker was injured by machinery.

On March 25, 2013, a worker was performing a task on a thermo-forming machine, which heats a plastic sheet and presses it against a mold to fabricate a part. The machine was enclosed by a frame that has access gates at the front and at each side. Each gate has a sensor that detects if the gate is in an open or closed position; all the gates must be closed in order to permit motion. The width and height of the front gate permitted full body entry into the point of operation, and the safety gates were not designed or intended to detect the presence of a worker inside the point of operation.

The task being performed by the worker at the time of the incident involved making sure a new mold was in correct alignment or position in the machine. The worker entered the machine from the front gate while the machine was powered; the worker closed the safety gate in order to enable machine motion. Another worker assisted by standing at the control station to control machine motion based on instructions from the worker inside the machine.

While the worker was inside the machine, a clamp above the worker unexpectedly began to move and clamped down on the worker. The worker suffered bruising and other injuries to bones and an organ. A Ministry of Labour investigation followed.

By law, motion that may endanger a worker must be stopped and parts must be blocked to prevent movement whenever a part of a machine is being adjusted, repaired or maintained.

QBD Cooling Systems Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a part of the machine was stopped and blocked to prevent movement, and was fined $65,000.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Richard Quon. 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:

QBD Cooling Systems Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of 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 its movement.”

QBD Cooling Systems Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 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.”

Any time a worker is performing maintenance on a machine and there is any danger that the machine may move during the process the machine has to be prepared before time, so that the worker is not injured during the process.

Sounds simple doesn’t it. Sound like common sense to me, BUT, many company procedures are not laid out with safety and common sense so regulations have to be created, enacted and enforced to ensure the safety of the worker. That is why the occupational health and safety act and sector regulations were created and are always being updated as new safety issues develop.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place. Create a set of safe work instructions for every application in your workplace. The Ministry of Labour (MOL) expects it and will enforce their compliance.

Too late it seems for this worker!

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’, ‘Machine Guarding’, ‘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 – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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