Ontario manufacturer fined for worker’s aircraft wing injury

One end of the wing pinned one worker to the floor

Ontario manufacturer fined for worker’s aircraft wing injury
The worker required surgery after the incident.

Mississauga, Ont.-based Cyclone Manufacturing Incorporated was fined $60,000 after one worker was injured and required surgery from being pinned by a wing of an aircraft.

The charge root from a March 27, 2019 incident, when one worker was assisting two co-workers with the rigging and flipping of a wing component. They were setting up a single-sling choker hitch on the wing which was being used to lift and flip the wing component. The component weighed roughly 2,000 pounds and measured about 22 feet in length.

The two workers were attempting to steady the component to keep it from swinging while one operated the crane pendant to lift it from the supporting tables on which it was resting. These supporting tables had free-moving wheels that did not lock in place.

As they were preparing to lift the wing component off the tables with the single-sling choker hitch, the table that was supporting the wing on one side suddenly slid out. One end of the wing became unbalanced, sloped to one side and descended to the floor, pinning one of the workers.

The worker was injured and required surgery.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development found that the single-sling choker hitch setup was commonly used at Cyclone to lift wing components from the supporting tables and flip them following processing, and had been used many times in the past. The process of flipping the wing using the single-sling choker hitch setup occurred approximately twice per week.

Because this method does not provide 360-degree contact with the load, it is not suited to moving long, heavy loads that are difficult to balance.

The ministry also found that as part of the processing of the wing, it was placed on supporting tables that were composed of a steel frame with four legs and a wooden top, with wheels at the bottom of the legs that move and do not lock in place.

“Cyclone did not have a means of securing the wheels on the supporting tables used during the processing of the wing, causing one of the tables to slide out and the wing to drop, injuring the worker. In addition, the single-sling choker hitch set-up in use at the time of the incident was not suitable for the action of lifting the long, heavy wing component,” according to the Ontario government.

Cyclone failed as an employer to comply with the measures and procedures prescribed by section 45(a) of Ontario Regulation 851, which states: “materials, articles, or things required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards, including protective clothing, guards or other precautions as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker.”

This is contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Previously, Amer-Can Investments, Inc. was fined $40,000 for the injury of one worker from contact with a shear blade. Also, AGF Rebar Inc. was fined a total of $95,000 while its supervisor was fined $2,000 for separate incidents that led to worker injuries.