Blog Post #189 – Sandvik Canada Inc. Fined $115,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Sandvik Canada Inc. was fined $115,000 on April 26, 2010 for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured at its plant in Arnprior.

On May 14, 2008, a Sandvik worker was changing a die on a machine used to shape stainless steel tubes. During the changeover, the worker’s hand became caught in a pinch point between the machine’s rack-and-pinion gears, causing a serious hand injury.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the machine was not locked out.

Sandvik Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the machine’s moving parts were blocked during the die changing process.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Nancy Mitchell. 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:

Sandvik Canada Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 76 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“Where the starting of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing may endanger the safety of a worker,

a) Control switches or other control mechanisms shall be locked out, and
b) Other effective precautions necessary to prevent any starting shall be taken.”

Lockout and tagout is a standard procedure for most companies as part of a regularly scheduled maintenance program. Many large companies even have a lockout/tagout sub-committee reporting to the JHSC.

Lockout procedures are a principal means of controlling energy hazards. A lockout procedure is a set of safe work practices and rules that make it impossible for a worker to come in contact with an uncontrolled energy source or the inadvertent movement of a machine. The program is set up and the employees are trained in the recognition of all energy sources and the actual implementation of the program.

There are many companies that utilize a ‘toolbox’ meeting prior to the application of a lockout procedure. This meeting usually has the supervisor, or lead hand, discussing the lockout, what is to be done, in what time frame, and who is to be involved. Here we find a lockout/tagout policy or procedure not followed as well as the apparent lack of supervision and the employee was injured.

If the program was not in place then it must have been guaranteed by the company to the MOL before the closure of the case. I certainly hope so.

As a certified trainer for WSIB’s Basic Certification, Level 1, I discuss, in detail, Lockout/Tagout as part of Day ‘3’ of the course. WSIB feels the following topics are important enough to discuss in greater detail,

1) Lockout and Tagout
2) Confined Space Entry
3) Machine Guarding

HRS Group Inc. incorporates a ‘mock death in the workplace’ scenario and this scenario involves one or more of these 3 key issues. I allow the class to be broken up and work as a team to find root cause and give me a suggestion for permanent corrective action.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”


‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

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