Manufacturing AUTOMATION

News Machine Safety
Automotive parts maker fined $60K after worker injury


An Ontario manufacturer of automotive parts owned by Magna International Inc. has been fined $60,000 in provincial court after a worker injury.

The company, Karmax Heavy Stamping, pleaded guilty to charges after a worker fell and was injured at its Milton, Ontario plant.

Karmax has also been fined a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, which is credited to a provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

A Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development investigation found that on March 23, 2018, a worker was assisting another in carrying an automation feeder part while ascending two stairs to reach the top of a platform.

Advertisment

The worker fell while ascending the second step, just prior to reaching the platform, sustaining an injury.

The investigator determined that the stairs were inconsistent in their rise. The height variances between adjacent stairs indicated that the worker would have stepped onto each step with a 1 inch (2.54 cm) or greater height difference.

The riser height of the ground to the first stair measured 23.8 cm, the riser height between the first and the second step measured 17.78 cm, and the riser height between the second step and the platform ranged between 20.3 to 21.6 cm.

A Ministry of Labour ergonomist concluded that the two-person lift-and-carry task required the workers’ attention to be split between the safe handling of the automation feeder, lifting as a team and ascending onto the platform.

The attention required when performing a team lift – combined with the variances between adjacent steps – was a hazard with respect to tripping and falling on the stairs.

The investigator found that Karmax failed as an employer to ensure that the carrying of the automation feeder in tandem on the stairs did not endanger the safety of any worker.