Robot repair job goes bad; Peco Inc. fined $150,000
Toronto, on − Peco Inc., an auto parts manufacturer based in Rexdale, Ont., was fined $150,000 on May 4, 2006...
Toronto, on − Peco Inc., an auto parts manufacturer based in Rexdale, Ont., was fined $150,000 on May 4, 2006 for two violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in a serious head injury to an employee.
On January 20, 2005, a worker was repairing a robotic machine when the machine’s robotic arm suddenly activated and struck the worker in the head. The worker suffered a fractured skull. A Ministry of Labour investigation found the machine was not locked out to prevent the machine’s accidental activation prior to the worker starting the repair activities. The incident occurred at the company’s plant at 22 Iron Street in Rexdale in Toronto’s west end.
Following a trial, PECO Inc. was found guilty of:
1. Failing to lock out the robotic machine to prevent it from starting, as required by Section 76 of the Regulations for Industrial Establishments. This was contrary to Section 25(1)(c) of the act; and
2. Failing to provide the injured worker with information, instruction and supervision on lockout procedures to protect the worker’s health and safety. This was contrary to Section 25(2)(a) of the act.
Justice of the Peace Alice Napier, of the Ontario Court of Justice at Old City Hall in Toronto, fined the company $75,000 on each count. In addition, the court imposed a 25% 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.