Machine & Operator Safety
Machinery manufacturer fined $40K after worker suffers critical injury
September 30, 2020 by Ministry of Labour, Training & Skills Development
A manufacturer and supplier of heavy machinery and rough terrain equipment has been fined $40,000 in Ontario provincial court after a worker suffered critical injuries at its industrial plant.
Following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Windsor, Sellick Equipment Ltd. was fined for the accident at its Harrow, Ontario plant.
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.
On the date of the incident, November 23, 2018, a worker employed at the industrial plant’s fabrication department was operating an overheard crane attached to a chain hoist and a Mag-Mate lift magnet. The magnet is high-powered magnetic device used to lift metal objects.
The worker was using the magnet to transport a chrome-plated steel bar, which weighed 233 pounds. The worker was transferring the chrome bar into a drawer to be stored.
While the bar was suspended by the magnet, the worker reached underneath the chrome bar in order to move metal bars within the storage drawer. While doing so, the chrome bar dislodged and fell, striking the worker and causing critical injuries.
The Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the surface of the magnet was not kept clear of debris. The ministry’s inspector observed fragments of steel burrs and metal shavings on the bottom of the magnet.
Although the worker had received on-the-job training from Sellick, the worker had not received formal overhead crane training, nor had the worker received or reviewed the operating manual for the magnet. The manual specifically required the surface of the magnet to be kept clean from debris.
Section 25(1)(b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires an employer to ensure that the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition.
Accordingly, on November 23, 2018, Sellick failed to maintain a lift magnet in good condition, contrary to section 25(1)(b) of the OHSA.