Peterborough, Ont. – A metal recycling company in Peterborough, Ont., pleaded guilty and has been fined $105,000 after a worker was killed by an excavator operating in reverse.
The incident took place at the Ajax-based Peterborough Iron & Metal Inc.’s facility at 740 Erskine Avenue in Peterborough on August 18, 2015. A worker was in the yard, adjacent to a narrow roadway, cutting apart the bucket portion of a front-end loader with a cutting torch. This was not the normal area where the worker would have performed this operation; the bucket had been moved to that location by an excavator operated by a co-worker. After dropping the bucket off, the co-worker then affixed the rear bumper of a city bus to the shear attachment of the excavator and proceeded to operate the excavator in reverse along the roadway, pulling the bumper in order to move it to another location close to where the worker was cutting apart the bucket. While reversing, the right rear track of the excavator struck and crushed the other worker, causing fatal injuries.
A Ministry of Labour inspector conducted an investigation into the cause of the incident and determined that the metal material was being moved in a manner that endangered the safety of a worker. The excavator being used to move the pieces of metal was being operated in reverse and the worker operating the excavator did not have a clear view of the intended path of travel, nor was there a signaler to assist with the task. In addition, the excavator in question did not have a working travel alarm. These were all violations of Section 56 of Ontario Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation).
Peterborough Iron & Metal Inc. failed as an employer to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were carried out at the workplace, contrary to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The employer pleaded guilty and was fined $105,000 by Justice of the Peace Peter Hiscox in Peterborough court on January 23, 2017.
Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour