Worker critically injured while operating overhead crane

Employer handed hefty fine for workplace violation

Worker critically injured while operating overhead crane

Ontario employer FIO Automotive Canada Corporation (FIO) was fined $50,000 after a worker suffered a critical injury at the workplace when a 1,500-pund feed bar was knocked out of its support cradle and struck the worker who was operating the crane.

Following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Stratford, FIO was also told to pay a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, to be credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

The incident happened on Oct. 8, 2020, at the company’s large industrial facility for manufacturing automotive parts. The worker was operating an overheard crane to lift a press die off a bolster plate to move it to storage.

A trainee was assisting the worker by disconnecting clamps holding the press die on the bolster.

As the worker began to lift the die with the crane, he did not notice one of the clamps had not been removed. The clamp eventually disconnected under pressure of the crane, causing the die to swing in the air, impacting the bolster’s feed bar.

The feed bar – weighing approximately 1,500-pounds – was dislodged from its position, knocking the worker to the floor. The worker was critically injured.

Following an investigation, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development found that the feed bar holder would not securely retain the feed bar if struck by the die swinging in the way it did. It also found that there had been similar instances in the past where dies, being lifted off bolsters, swung and contacted a feed bar, bumping it out of position but remaining in the cradle.

“FIO contravened section 46 of the Industrial Regulations by failing to ensure that a feed bar that may tip or fall and endanger any worker was secured against tipping or falling. This is an offence under section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act,” according to the Ontario government.

Previously, Saskatchewan employer Brandt Industries Canada Ltd. was also fined $5,000 plus a $2,000 surcharge for an incident that led to a serious injury to one worker.

Manitoba employer Double-You Builders Ltd. was also fined $21,500 in total for two violations resulting in a spinal fracture to a worker.

Also, British Columbia employer 1098369 B.C. Ltd. was fined $2,500.00 after an incident at an industrial construction site wherein a worker sustained injuries.