Fatality results in $130,000 fine to Japanese company

Worker pinned between bucket car and fencing

Fatality results in $130,000 fine to Japanese company

Access Limited, an engineering company that develops, designs and manufactures automation equipment in Japan, has been fined $130,000 for the death of a worker in Ontario. The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Ontario Provincial Offences Act.

On Aug, 31, 2017, two workers employed by Access Limited were assisting with the installation of a new metal stamping press and feeder at a facility in Tottenham, Ont. The power to the press machine was turned off, but a piece of equipment known as a “destacker feeder” remained powered and operational. One of the workers briefly left the work area in the early hours of Aug. 31 and observed the other worker performing diagnostic testing at the destacker feeder control panel. Upon returning, the worker discovered the victim’s body positioned in front of a part of the destacker feeder known as the “DB bucket car.” This car is a small mechanized cart that travels along rails. There is fencing surrounding the loading area for the bucket car, which has an opening that allows the car to leave the loading area to the unloading area. The body was found pinned between the edge of the bucket car and the frame of the fencing that surrounds the bucket car opening.

The Ministry of Labour investigated the incident and determined the likely cause of the fatality was that, while the worker was present within the fenced area, the bucket car started and moved along the rail toward the opening of the fence and the worker. The investigation also revealed that safety interlock circuits were installed around the bucket car. If the fence door to the loading area is open or not present, the safety interlock circuits would be triggered and the bucket car would be prevented from moving. However, these safety interlock circuits had been overridden. The investigation did not reveal who overrode the interlock circuits or why.

The investigation determined that Access Limited failed to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances, contrary to section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. 

Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour