Machinery strikes worker, assembly plant fined $81,250

Ministry of Labour investigation revealed secondary restraint cable had snapped

Machinery strikes worker, assembly plant fined $81,250

Android-Brampton has been fined a total of $81,250 after a worker was critically injured when machinery fell and struck them. The company was fined $65,000 plus a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge of $16,250.

On July 12, 2018, a worker was working at the facility's Rear Differential Station 4-1 assembly line in Brampton, Ont., installing half-shafts into automotive rear differential units for Fiat Chrysler automobiles.

To do so, the worker used the Knight Air Lift Assist device at the station. The Knight Air Lift Assist Device is a pneumatic operator lift-assist arm, used to pick up an item (in this case, the rear differential unit) from the shipping box and place it on an installation fixture at a workstation on the assembly line.

The Knight Air Lift Assist Device is suspended from an overhead bridge or gantry crane. The main components are a vertical gantry frame, a crane bridge (that is, a horizontal beam which spans across the gantry frame) and two runway beams positioned in the same plane, but perpendicular to the crane bridge.

As the worker was using the Knight Air Lift Assist arm, the southern end of the crane bridge /horizontal beam detached from the left side overhead trolley assembly and fell. This caused the pneumatic device and attached Knight Air Lift Assist device to also fall and strike the worker. The injury required hospitalization.

The Ministry of Labour's investigation into the cause of the incident determined that the secondary restraint cable holding the crane bridge to the trolley had snapped. Indentation marks on the body of the trolley showed that the secondary restraint cable had held the weight of the crane bridge for some time before snapping.

The Ministry of Labour investigation determined that failure of the crane was a recurring event, given a previous overhead crane failure in 2017, and that Android-Brampton had not implemented measures to prevent this failure from recurring.

Section 25(1)(b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act provides that an employer shall ensure that the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer shall be maintained in good condition.

Android-Brampton failed to ensure that the trolley assembly eyebolt connectors and stop plates on the Rear-Differential Station 4-1 overhead crane bridge were maintained in good condition, contrary to section 25(1)(b) of the act. This is an offence pursuant to section 66(1) of the act.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour