Machine & Operator Safety
Operations & Management
Auto parts maker fined $80,000 after worker injured
December 31, 2016 by Ontario Ministry of Labour
Dec. 31, 2016 – Poly-Nova Technologies GP Inc., a manufacturer of rubber parts for the automotive industry, pleaded guilty and has been fined $80,000 after a worker was permanently injured by a hydraulic power press.
On May 27, 2014, a temporary worker who had been employed at the company’s Guelph plant for several months was being trained by another worker on a vertical injection press for the first time. The machine is a vertical hydraulic injection-moulded power press with a clamping force of 350 tons. Rubber material is fed through the top of the press and material is heated and injected into the mould to produce rubber components.
The worker was in the process of cleaning the machine’s upper ejection mould as trained. The worker reached into the press between two plates when the machine was started by someone and began to cycle, closing the moulds. The worker’s hand and arm were trapped and the machine had to be dismantled to free the worker. As a result of the incident, the worker sustained serious injuries and burns.
The Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the moving parts of the machine were not equipped with a guard or other device which would prevent access to those parts. Section 24 of Ontario’s Industrial Establishments Regulation prescribes that where a machine has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part. The defendant failed as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were carried out at the workplace, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The company pleaded guilty and was fined $80,000.
The court also 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.