Blog Post #802 – Yarl Metal Fabrications Inc. Fined $60,000 After Worker Loses Fingers

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Yarl Metal Fabrications Inc. has pleaded guilty and has been fined $60,000 after a worker lost fingers in an unguarded metal-cutting machine.

On April 23, 2014, a worker was cutting scrap material with a shear machine at the company’s facility in Scarborough. The company makes products such as metal cladding, windowsills, column covers and storefront panels for the building trade.

The shear machine was without the required guarding, which had been removed the day before for a custom job; the machine is activated with a foot pedal.

While in use, a piece of material got hung up on a corner of the machine. The worker moved one hand to wipe the material away, and while the hand was in the hazard area the worker accidentally pressed down on the foot pedal, causing the shear on the machine to cycle. The worker suffered multiple amputations of fingers.

The court found that the defendant failed in its duty as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed in the Occupational Health and Safety Act were carried out. Justice of the Peace Chris Triantafilopoulos fined the company $60,000 in Toronto court on July 30, 2015.

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:

Yarl Metal Fabrications Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 24 which states,

“Where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”

Yarl Metal Fabrications Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, section 25(1)(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

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

Machine Guarding! Machine Guarding! This is a standard by which all manufacturers need to comply. The employer MUST ensure that the machine guarding is in place, in good condition and meets the manufacturer’s engineering standards.

My recommendation to Yarl Metal is to have a set of written work instructions including the need to replace guarding as soon as possible.

A question I may have for Yarl Metal was that they may design a machine guard for the special project and not place their worker(s) at risk.

The worker’s quality of life has changed dramatically due to this workplace accident. It didn’t need to happen if the employer would have done everything reasonable in the circumstance for the protection of the worker. Funny, that is exactly what is stated in section 25, subsection 2 (h) and in section 27, subsection 2 (c). I guess it is just that important.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

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’ 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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