London’s Great Lakes Copper Ltd. fined $65,000 as moving equipment causes injuries

CONVICTED: Great Lakes Copper Ltd., 1010 Clarke Road, London, Ontario, a company that operates a copper tube mill.

Location: The company’s manufacturing facility at 1010 Clarke Road, London.

Description of Offence: A worker suffered critical injuries when a machine was unintentionally activated.

Date of Offence: October 17, 2018.

Date of Conviction: November 25, 2019.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following a guilty plea, Great Lakes Copper Ltd. was fined $65,000 by Justice of the Peace Jamie Shortt; Crown Counsel Judy L. Chan.
  • 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.

Background:

  • On October 17, 2018, a worker at Great Lakes Copper was operating a #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 from the operator’s area to the horizontal surface adjacent to the machine, in an effort to speak to a supervisor who was on the floor.  The worker used a raised walkway beside the machine.
  • 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 provides that an employer shall ensure that the 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.”  The carriage of the #4 block machine was not equipped with or guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part. 
  • Great Lakes Copper failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 24 of the regulation were complied with at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the act. This is an offence pursuant to section 66(1) of the act.

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