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Worker struck by equipment in assembly plant, company fined $65,000

Company pleads guilty to failing to ensure the machinery was maintained in good condition.

December 11, 2019   by PLANT STAFF

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Falling machinery that struck an automotive assembly worker has resulted in a $65,000 fine for a Brampton, Ont. automotive assembly company.

Android-Brampton LLC entered a guilty plea in Brampton court to failing to ensure the machinery was maintained in good condition.

The accident occurred on July 12, 2018 when an assembler was installing half-shafts into automotive rear differential units for Fiat Chrysler vehicles.

The worker was using a Knight Air Lift Assist device, a pneumatic operator lift-assist arm used to pick up an item from the shipping box and place it on an installation fixture at a workstation on the assembly line.

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The device is suspended from an overhead bridge or gantry crane. The main components are a vertical gantry frame, a crane bridge and two runway beams positioned in the same plane, but perpendicular to the crane bridge.

As the worker was using the lift assist arm, the southern end of the crane bridge/horizontal beam detached from the left side overhead trolley assembly and fell. This caused the pneumatic device and lift assist device to strike the worker.

The injury required hospitalization.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the secondary restraint cable holding the crane bridge to the trolley had snapped. Indentation marks on the body of the trolley showed the secondary restraint cable had held the weight of the crane bridge for some time before snapping.

It was determined the failure of the crane was a recurring event. There had been a previous overhead crane failure in 2017, and Android-Brampton had not implemented measures to prevent a recurrence.

The court ruled the company failed to ensure the trolley assembly eyebolt connectors and stop plates on the overhead crane bridge were maintained in good condition.