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Worker hit by beam, company fined $75K

Crane’s anti-collision sensors had been covered up

CMF Group, a company that provides millwrighting, rigging and general contractor services from Windsor, Ont., has been fined $75,000 after a beam striked a worker and caused critical injuries.

The CMF Group crew was installing the second of two new milling machines using two 20-ton overhead cranes. The rigging consisted of a horizontal I-beam used as a spreader bar, hoisted by the two cranes. The two cranes were being operated independently of each other, and the two remote controls had not been synchronized to work in tandem, which would control their speeds.

While the milling machine was being lifted in this manner, one of the two cranes started to move up faster than the other, causing the horizontal spreader beam between them to become unbalanced, with one end of the beam higher than the other.

The beam slid, fell and struck a worker who had been standing on a part of the machine, knocking the worker to the floor. The worker suffered critical injuries.

The Ministry of Labour investigation into the incident determined that the cranes were equipped with anti-collision sensors, which would prevent cranes or their loads from operating within five feet of each other. In addition, the operator manual for the cranes state that it is "the customer's responsibility to ensure that all sensors and reflectors are kept completely clean and in good working condition at all times." The anti-collision sensors on these cranes had been covered up, and the sensors did not activate.

Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) provides that an employer shall ensure that the prescribed measures and procedures are complied with. Section 93(3) of the Ontario Regulation for Construction Projects (O. Reg. 213/91) prescribes that all vehicles, machines, tools and equipment shall be used in accordance with any operating manuals issued by the manufacturers. 

CMF failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed section 93(3) of the Regulation for Construction Projects were complied with, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the OHSA. This is an offence under section 66(1) of the OHSA.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour

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