LONDON, ONT. — A London, Ont. firm that manufactures copper tubing for the plumbing, refrigeration and industrial markets has been fined $65,000 for its role in a 2018 incident in which a worker suffered critical injuries when a machine was unintentionally activated.
A Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development report states that on Oct. 17, 2018, a worker at Great Lakes Copper was operating a number 4 block machine, which resizes coils of copper tubing. After being re-sized, the tubes are moved to an adjacent horizontal surface by a carriage, arm and finger mechanism.
The worker walked along a raised walkway from the operator’s area to the horizontal surface adjacent to the machine with the purpose of speaking to a supervisor who was on the floor.
The button that prevents the equipment from continuing to work and places it in a manual mode was not pressed.
The worker walked past the carriage, arm and finger mechanism of the machine and leaned against the machine’s limit switch. This caused the machine carriage to move and it struck the worker.
The worker was pinched in the gap between the carriage and the horizontal surface being walked on and received critical injuries.
Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires an employer to ensure that prescribed measures and procedures are carried out in the workplace. Section 24 of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments prescribes, “Where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”
A justice of the peace hearing the case determined that the carriage of the number 4 block machine did not have any of the preventative devices mandated by the act. Thus, Great Lakes Copper failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were complied with. This is an offence pursuant to section 66(1) of the act.
Great Lakes Copper was convicted and fined Nov. 25.