Machine & Operator Safety
Brampton manufacturer fined $65K for critical worker injury
December 11, 2019 by Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
Android-Brampton LLC, a Brampton company that provides module assembly and supply chain management services used in vehicles, has been fined $65,000 in Ontario provincial court after pleading guilty to an offence involving a critical worker injury at its facility.
The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, which goes to a provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, on July 12, 2018, a worker was working at the facility’s Rear Differential Station 4-1 assembly line, installing half-shafts into automotive rear differential units for Fiat Chrysler automobiles.
To do so, the worker used the Knight Air Lift Assist device at the station. The Knight Air Lift Assist Device is a pneumatic operator lift-assist arm, used to pick up an item (in this case, the rear differential unit) from the shipping box and place it on an installation fixture at a workstation on the assembly line.
The Knight Air Lift Assist Device is suspended from an overhead bridge or gantry crane. The main components are a vertical gantry frame, a crane bridge (that is, a horizontal beam which spans across the gantry frame) and two runway beams positioned in the same plane, but perpendicular to the crane bridge.
As the worker was using the arm, the southern end of the crane bridge/horizontal beam detached from the left side overhead trolley assembly and fell. This caused the pneumatic device and attached Knight Air Lift Assist device to also fall and strike the worker. The injury required hospitalization.
The ministry’s investigation into the cause of the incident determined that the secondary restraint cable holding the crane bridge to the trolley had snapped. Indentation marks on the body of the trolley showed that the secondary restraint cable had held the weight of the crane bridge for some time before snapping.
The investigation determined that failure of the crane was a recurring event, given a previous overhead crane failure in 2017, and that Android-Brampton had not implemented measures to prevent this failure from recurring.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an employer shall ensure that the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer shall be maintained in good condition.