Canadian Manufacturing

Company fined after worker killed in pinning incident at Ontario warehouse

A worker was killed after being trapped between a mobile work platform and a steel frame at a Brampton, Ont. work site


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BRAMPTON, Ont.—A company that designs and installs automated material handling equipment for warehouses has been fined $175,000 for an incident that left one worker dead.

The accident took place at an under-construction warehouse in Brampton, Ont. in August 2016, where Dematic Ltd. had been contracted to install a conveyor system.

During the construction, two workers were attaching decking to steel frames that were already in place. The crew was working on a mobile work platform controlled by one of the workers that would pass under the steel frame. To access one part of the frame, the two workers briefly position themselves below the top guardrail on the mobile work platform.

Without having the other worker in sight, the one at the controls moved the platform under a section of the steel frame. The operator heard a noise and stopped. The other worker had been pinned between the guardrail on the platform and the steel structure.

Emergency responders were called, but the worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

A subsequent workplace investigation found the workers had received the proper training for working with the mobile work platform, but the moveable platform was not being operated properly at the time of the incident. Operators are warned specifically against insufficient clearance.

Ontario’s health and safety codes stipulate the company is responsible for ensuring all vehicles are being used by the book, resulting in a violation.

Dematic pleaded guilty to the offence in a Brampton courtroom March 8.


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