Bombardier in Thunder Bay Fined $280,000

Canada Geese
Canada Geese on rail line in downtown Thunder Bay South

Bombardier TransportationTHUNDER BAY – Ontario Ministry of Labour has announced that Bombardier Transportation Canada Inc., has been convicted in two separate cases involving injuries to workers and fined a combined total of $280,000. Both incidents took place at Bombardier’s production facility located at 1001 Montreal Street in Thunder Bay. The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace John Guthrie. 

In the first case, on April 13, 2012, a worker was changing a part on a mechanical tube bender. The part on the device was stuck in place and it was a regular practice for workers to engage a clamp switch in order to loosen and remove the stuck part. However, when the clamp switch is engaged, a ram switch becomes energized.

The worker engaged the clamp switch and positioned one hand between the energized ram and a grip block. While doing so, the ram was started and crushed the tip of one finger. The worker later required an amputation of part of the injured finger. A Ministry of Labour investigation followed.

Bombardier pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that an exposed moving part on the bender machine was equipped by a guard or other device.

Bombardier was fined $140,000, as well as 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.

In the second case and in the same workplace, on July 5, 2012 a worker was injured after coming into contact with a live electrical conductor. The young worker, who was also a relatively new employee, was checking the electrical current of an electrical conductor in a passenger rail car. The worker reached into an electrical cabinet to clamp an ammeter to verify that it had an electrical current, and inadvertently touched a live terminal strip. The worker was not wearing any rubber gloves or using any protective equipment, which is required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The worker suffered injuries to an arm and hand.

A Ministry of Labour investigation revealed that the terminal block was energized and that the worker was not provided with any instructions about the use of personal protective equipment.

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