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Repair worker injury results in conviction for elevator company

DCN-JOC News Services
Repair worker injury results in conviction for elevator company

OTTAWA — Thyssenkrupp Elevator (Canada) has been convicted for its role in a 2019 incident in Ottawa that saw an elevator repair worker injured.

A Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development report states that on Feb. 5 of that year, a worker and co-worker were on a jobsite on Nepean Street in Ottawa, in the process of checking the gap clearance on a recently replaced brake assembly on an elevator. The task involved using a gauge to measure the gap between the drum and the brake pad.

The co-worker was at the control panel of the elevator. The controls were set on manual override.

The co-worker pressed the control to move the elevator in the up direction which resulted in the sheave (pulley) rotating counterclockwise. This created a pinch point between the cables and the sheave.

The victim was caught in this pinch point; an arm was pulled into the cables and rotated at least half-way around the sheave. The co-worker immediately reversed the direction of the elevator which freed the arm.

The worker sustained injuries and required surgery.

One of the primary factors in the incident was determined to be that the elevator motion was not stopped (locked out) prior to work being performed on it. This is contrary to section 75 of Ontario Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishment Regulation) which states: “a part of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when motion that may endanger a worker has stopped; and any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement.” 

Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act states that an employer shall ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed in the regulation are carried out in the workplace. It was determined in Ottawa provincial court on Dec. 15, 2020 that Thyssenkrupp, as the employer, failed to ensure that the elevator was locked out in accordance with the regulation.

The firm was fined $55,000.

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