Johnson Controls Automotive Canada LP, a manufacturer of foam seats for the automotive industry, has been fined $155,000 after a worker was killed when a hook holding open a metal lid broke.
On January 29, 2013, a worker was performing maintenance on a metal mould in the Johnson Controls plant at 100 Townline Road in Tillsonburg. Moulds were typically moved from the production area by a lift truck and set down on a cradle in the maintenance area to allow them to be worked on.
The worker had opened and raised the lid of the mould, which was held open by a J-shaped metal hook attached to a one-ton-capacity overhead electric hoist. While the worker was performing work on the mould under the elevated lid, the hook broke in half, causing the lid to strike the worker on the head and crushing the worker between the lid and the lower section of the mould. The resulting injuries were fatal.
A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that no blocking devices had been used to prevent the elevated lid from closing while the worker was beneath it, contrary to Section 74 of Ontario Regulation 851 for Industrial Establishments and Section 25(1)(c) of Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Johnson Controls pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that machinery, equipment or material that is temporarily elevated and under which a worker may pass or work was securely and solidly blocked to prevent the machinery, equipment or material from falling or moving.
The $155,000 fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Sonia Aleong in Woodstock on Wednesday, May 14.
In addition to the fine, the court 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.