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Employer fined after worker’s hand crushed

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LONDON, ONT. — A company based in London, Ont. providing sales and service of tractors and other equipment used in the construction industry pleaded guilty and was fined $115,000 after a worker suffered injuries from a falling piece of equipment.

The Ministry of Labour reports that on Aug. 21, 2015, a worker at the Toromont Industries Ltd. workplace at 50 Enterprise Dr. in London was injured when one hand became trapped between the concrete floor and a 4,900-pound drive assembly (axle) that had fallen from its support stands in the company’s heavy equipment maintenance shop.

The device had been placed on three support stands and tested to see if it was safely balanced on the support stands; however, the test was done while it was still attached to an overhead crane, and it was not solidly secured after part of the drive unit was removed. The weight distribution of the remaining axle assembly changed, resulting in the axle assembly becoming unstable and falling off the support stands. As a result of the incident, the worker suffered serious injuries.

Section 46 of Ontario Regulation 851, the Industrial Establishments Regulation, requires that machinery, equipment or material that may tip or fall and endanger any worker shall be secured against tipping or falling. The failure to ensure compliance with the regulation was also contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were carried out in the workplace, and was fined by Justice of the Peace Anna Hampson in a London court on Jan. 5, 2017.

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