Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Copper tube manufacturer fined $65K after worker’s critical injury


November 26, 2019
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Great Lakes Copper Ltd., which operates a copper tube manufacturing facility in London, Ontario, has been fined $65,000 by the provincial court after a worker suffered critical injuries at its plant.

The company pleaded guilty to the charge by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, and also must pay a court-imposed 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act.

The incident took place on October 17, 2018, when a worker at Great Lakes Copper was operating a #4 block machine, which resizes coils of copper tubing. After being re-sized, the tubes are moved to an adjacent horizontal surface by a carriage, arm and finger mechanism.

According to an investigation by the Ministry of Labour, the worker walked from the operator’s area to the horizontal surface adjacent to the machine, in an effort to speak to a supervisor who was on the floor. The worker used a raised walkway beside the machine.

The button that prevents the equipment from continuing to work and places it in a manual mode was not pressed.

The worker walked past the carriage, arm and finger mechanism of the machine, and leaned against the machine’s limit switch. This caused the machine carriage to move and it struck the worker.

The worker was pinched in the gap between the carriage and the horizontal surface being walked on, and received critical injuries.

The ministry indicates that Great Lakes Copper violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act by failing to ensure that the carriage of the #4 block machine was equipped by a guard that prevents access to the moving part.