$270K fine after robot injures worker

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An Ontario manufacturer was ordered to pay $270,000 today after one of its robotic workers inflicted “devastating injury” upon a human employee.

In the incident, a maintenance worker was instructed to fix a problem within a robot cell – convinced the repair would be a quick one, he entered the cell without locking off the power.

However, while carrying out the repair, the worker felt pressure and saw it was the robot pressing the back of his body. Although two colleagues were able to retrieve him, the worker still suffered serious and permanent injury.

After six days at trial, Matcor Automative Inc. was found guilty on three separate counts.

The court found that maintenance workers were expected to make a judgment call about how to fix the equipment – if it was a “quick fix,” the practice was to leave the power supply but if it was a longer fix it would be locked off.

The court also found that there was little effective supervision of workers.

The Brampton-based company was convicted of failing as an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect the health and safety of the worker with respect to working near robotic equipment and failing to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by Section 75(a) and Section 76 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation (O. Reg. 851) were carried out in the workplace.

Justice of the Peace Darlene Florence imposed the $270,000 fine in Brampton court earlier today. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent 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.

More like this:

Concerns raised after robot kills worker 

$50K fine for workplace injury 

Canadian city fined over worker’s death 
 
 
 

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