Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Proprietor of JTF Davco manufacturing plant fined $22K after worker fatality

November 19, 2018
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

November 19, 2018 – Robert Markle, sole director of JTF Davco Ltd., a company that manufactures screws from brass and other metal stock, has been fined $22,000 in a Ministry of Labour charge after a worker was killed at the JTF Davco plant in Toronto. 

The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, which is deposited in a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

According to the Ministry of Labour, on February 15, 2017, a machine operator was responsible for overseeing the operation of screw machines, including loading stock into the machines and checking product for quality control.

One of the machines used in the plant was a five-spindle automatic screw machine. It had an exposed stock reel composed of a bundle of five tubes into which thin 12-foot rods of brass stock were placed. The stock was inserted into the machine and the machine would fabricate threaded inserts from the stock.

The stock reel would complete a partial rotation at fixed intervals to accommodate the insertion of different bars of brass stock into the machine. The stock reel was held together with two locking collars, each of which had five bolts, the heads of which protruded from the collar.


During the shift, the worker sat down on a wooden crate near the exposed stock reel. The wooden crate was not a designated seating area. The worker’s back was to the bundle.

As the stock reel rotated, the exposed bolt heads of one of the collars grabbed the worker’s shirt collar and pulled the shirt into the rotation of the stock reel, which fatally injured the worker. The cause of death was determined to be neck compression.

The exposed stock reel and locking collars were not protected by a guard or other device to prevent access to the moving parts, despite regulations for industrial establishments stating that machines must be equipped with a guard if there is any possibility of endangering workers.

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