Employer fined $60,000
Ontario employer Atlas Hydraulics Inc. was fined $60,000 after pleading guilty for contributing to circumstances that led to an injury on one worker.
The employer is also facing a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, which will be credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
The charge root from an April 22, 2019, incident, when the worker – a hose line operator – was working on a machine known as the Ultra Clean BM1.25, 1 ¼” Bench Mount Launcher.
At approximately 3:15pm that day, the worker was tasked with cleaning industrial hoses using the Bench Mount Launcher to send projectiles through a hose. The Bench Mount Launcher utilizes a pneumatic foot pedal as an operating control that, when pressed, launches a plunger which in turn directs a projectile through the desired hose. This pedal therefore acts as a guard for the machine.
The worker inserted a projectile in the top of the Bench Mount Launcher, but it failed on its first cycle. The worker unscrewed and removed the locking ring from the unit and stuck their finger inside the unit to reorient the projectile.
While the worker’s finger was still inside the unit, they accidentally stepped on the foot pedal and the unit cycled. The ram pinched the worker’s finger against a small lip on the inside of the projectile chamber, and the worker sustained an injury.
“The foot pedal used for the Bench Mount Launcher could be moved around to wherever the worker wanted it, and, at the time of the incident, the foot pedal was not shrouded,” according to the Ontario government. “These conditions contributed to the incident that caused the worker’s injuries.”
As such, the employer failed to comply with section 28(b) of Ontario Regulation 851 contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.