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Aircraft parts maker fined $60K following worker injury


An Ontario manufacturer that makes components for aerospace companies has been fined $60,000 in provincial court following a worker injury.

Cyclone Manufacturing Incorporated, a provider of sheet metal fabrication, tube bending, welding and minor sub-assemblies of aerospace structural components for aerospace companies, pled guilty to the offence, which took place at its Mississauga, Ont. facility on March 27, 2019.

The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

On the date of the incident, a Cyclone worker was assisting two co-workers with the rigging and flipping of a wing component.

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They were setting up a single-sling choker hitch on the wing, which was being used to lift and flip the wing component. The component weighed roughly 2,000 pounds and measured about 22 feet in length.

The workers were attempting to steady the component to keep it from swinging while one operated the crane pendant to lift it from the supporting tables on which it was resting. These supporting tables had free-moving wheels that did not lock in place.

As the wing component was being prepared to be lifted off the tables with the single-sling choker hitch, the table that was supporting the wing on one side suddenly slid out. As the table slid out, one end of the wing became unbalanced, sloped to one side, and ultimately descended to the floor, pinning one of the workers to the floor.

The worker was injured and required surgery.

The investigation by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development found that the single-sling choker hitch setup was commonly used at Cyclone to lift wing components from the supporting tables and flip them following processing, and had been used many times in the past.

The process of flipping the wing using the single-sling choker hitch setup occurred approximately twice per week.

Because this method does not provide 360-degree contact with the load, it is not suited to moving long, heavy loads that are difficult to balance.

The ministry also found that as part of the processing of the wing it was placed on supporting tables that were composed of a steel frame with four legs and a wooden top, with wheels at the bottom of the legs that move and do not lock in place.

Cyclone did not have a means of securing the wheels on the supporting tables used during the processing of the wing, causing one of the tables to slide out and the wing to drop, injuring the worker. In addition, the single-sling choker hitch set-up in use at the time of the incident was not suitable for the action of lifting the long, heavy wing component.

As a result, the ministry found that Cyclone was not in compliance with the measures of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.