Blog Post #974 – Director Fined for Fatality

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A director in Bolton, Ontario was fined $22,000 on November 8, 2018 over the death of a worker.

Robert Markle is the sole director of JTF Davco Ltd., a Toronto-based company that fabricates screws from brass and other metal stock. On February 15, 2017, the worker was overseeing the operation of screw machines, one of which was a five-spindle automatic screw machine with an exposed stock real composed of a bundle of five tubes into which then 12-foot rods of breast stock workplace. The stock was inserted into the machine to fabricate threaded inserts from the stock.

The stock reel would complete a partial rotation at fixed intervals to accommodate the insertion of bars of breast stock into the machine. This dock reel was held together with two locking collars with five bolts each, the heads of which protruded from the caller. During the shift, the worker sat down on a wooden crate near the exposed stock real with his back against the bundle. As the stock reel rotated, the exposed bolt heads of one of the callers grabbed the worker’s shirt collar, pulling it into rotating stock reel. The workers sustained fatal neck compression.

Investigations revealed that the exposed stock reel and locking collars were not protected by a guard or other device to prevent access to moving parts. Markle pleaded guilty to violating section 32 (a) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA).

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Robert Markle was found guilty of contravening section 32, subsection (a) of the OHSA which states,

Duties of directors and officers of a corporation

“Every director and every officer of a corporation shall take all reasonable care to ensure that the corporation complies with,

  • this Act and the regulations.”

JTF Davco Ltd. must also been found guilty of a contravention of section 24 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

Machine Guarding

“Wherea 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.”

As a regular provider of material for health and safety professional, I can safely add that JTF Davco Ltd. also was found guilty of contravening section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the OHSA which states,

  “An employer shall ensure that,

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

This type of injury should not have occurred if proper steps in the design phase of the machine was properly engineered. A complete JHA should have been completed and proper guarding would have been installed ensure that there would be no contact with moving parts.

 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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