PERTH – A foundry employer pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after a worker suffered a permanent injury while working with molten metal.
The incident took place at Grenville Castings, a foundry premises located at 1 Conlon Drive in Perth. The business is a manufacturer of aluminum caster automotive parts. Grenville Castings is operated by Magna Structural Systems Inc. with offices in Aurora.
On May 9, 2015, a worker sustained injuries to a hand while working at the Perth foundry. Work was being performed on a low-pressure casting machine that makes castings by introducing molten metal (aluminium) into a mold.
While operating the machine the worker noticed that the machine was not pressurizing as expected, stopped the machine in order to inspect it and discovered that molten metal had flowed out of the mold and onto the surface area of the machine. There was excess metal on a gear track that would impede movement and prevent the machine from operating properly. The worker, along with a colleague, began to clean the excess metal and the machine was stopped, but components called “core pulls” were not blocked as required by safety laws. The worker’s colleague activated the core pulls while the machine was in its manual setting.
As the core pulls began to move, the worker attempted to pick out a piece of metal from the vicinity of the core pulls. The worker’s hand got caught in the pinch point formed by the gear track and gear drive assembly, causing injuries.
Section 75 of Regulation 851/90 – the Regulation for Industrial Establishments – requires an employer to ensure that a part of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing be cleaned, oiled, adjusted repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when, a) motion that may endanger a worker has stopped and b) any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement. This was contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Magna Structural Systems Inc. was fined $50,000 in Perth court by Justice of the Peace Serge Legault on September 20, 2017.
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.