Injury From Cleaning Machine Results in $60,000 Fine for Brantford Company

Convicted: Atlas Hydraulics Inc., 269 Elgin Street, Brantford.
Location of Workplace: The company’s facility at 369 Elgin Street, Brantford.
Description of Offence: A worker was using a hose cleaning machine to clean at a facility. When the machine failed, the worker attempted to fix the machine and suffered from an injury.
Date of Offence: April 22, 2019.
Date of Conviction: August 9, 2021.
Penalty Imposed:
Following a guilty plea at the Ontario Court of Justice (Criminal) in Brantford Atlas Hydraulics was fined $60,000 by Justice Kathleen Baker; Crown Counsel: Shantanu Roy.
The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
On April 22, 2019, an Atlas worker was employed as a Hose Line Operator. The worker worked 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.
These conditions contributed to the incident that caused the worker’s injuries. As such, Atlas Hydraulics failed to comply with section 28(b) of Ontario Regulation 851 contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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