One Worker Killed in Fall; Another Injured by Clamp – OHSA Fines

trip-hazard

Design Air Ltd., a Thornhill heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company, was fined $70,000 Aug. 11, for an accident in which a worker was killed.

In April, 2012, a supervisor employed by Design Air Ltd., and an apprentice, prepared to repair an HVAC unit at a home in Toronto. The HVAC unit was located on top of a flat roof at the rear of the residence. The apprentice was sent up to the roof to look at the equipment while the supervisor performed other tasks.

A short time later, the apprentice was found lying on the ground at the rear of the residence. The apprentice died from injuries suffered in a fall.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the apprentice had fallen about nine metres and was not wearing any form of fall arrest equipment at the time of the fall. Design Air Ltd., pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that a worker was protected by a fall arrest system as required by law.

Justice of the Peace Sunny Ng imposed the fine, in Ontario Court of Justice, 70 Centre Ave., Toronto. Fines were laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 25(2)(h).

Worker Clamped Down, Injured in Machine

QBD Cooling Systems Inc., a Brampton company that operates a manufacturing facility for commercial refrigerators, was fined $65,000 for an accident in which a worker was injured by a clamp.

In March, 2013, a worker was working with a thermoforming machine, which heats a plastic sheet and presses it against a mold to fabricate a part.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that at the time of the incident, the worker was involved in making sure a new mold was in correct alignment or position in the machine. The worker entered the machine from the front gate while the machine was powered. The worker closed the safety gate, to enable machine motion. Another worker assisted by standing at the control station, to control machine motion based on instructions from the worker inside the machine.

While the worker was inside the machine, a clamp above the worker unexpectedly began to move and clamped down on the worker. The worker suffered bruising and internal injuries.

By law, motion that may endanger a worker must be stopped and parts must be blocked to prevent movement whenever a part of a machine is being adjusted, repaired or maintained.

QBD Cooling Systems Inc. pleaded  guilty to failing to ensure that a part of the machine was stopped and blocked to prevent movement. The $65,000 fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Richard Quon, Aug. 12 in Provincial Offences Court, Brampton. Convictions were registered under Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 25(1)(c) and Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments), Section 75.

In addition to the fines, the court imposes a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act.

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