Midtronics Canada Inc. and Plant Supervisor Fined for Health and Safety

Tony Moscioni-Electrical Safety Authority-416-991-4145

Source: Canada NewsWire

Oct 20, 2005 17:50 -- NORTH BAY, ON, Oct. 20 /CNW/ -- Midtronics Canada Inc., a Willowbrook, Illinois manufacturer of products used to test batteries, with a manufacturing plant in North Bay, was fined $55,000 and a plant supervisor was fined $3,500 on October 18, 2005 for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in serious injuries to an employee.

On March 24, 2005, a worker was assembling computer circuit boards and using a "diode press" (a small press used to connect two electronic components) when the worker's hand became caught in the press while it cycled. The worker lost part of one finger and another finger was crushed. On March 30, 2005 the Ministry of Labour issued an order to the company to have all power-operated machinery at the plant tested by a professional engineer and to provide a written assessment of the guarding to the ministry by April 15, 2005. As of April 27, 2005 the company had still not complied with the order. The incident occurred at the company's manufacturing plant at 54 Ferris Drive in North Bay.

Midtronics Canada Inc. pleaded guilty, as an employer, to:
1. failing to ensure the diode press had a guarding device, as required by Section 25 of the Regulations for Industrial Establishments. This was contrary to Section 25(1)(c) of the act.
2. failing to comply with the Ministry of Labour order. This was contrary to Section 66(1)(b) of the act.

Justice of the Peace Gilles Lecouteur, of the Ontario Court of Justice in North Bay, fined the company $45,000 on the first count and $10,000 on the second count.

In addition, a plant supervisor pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the diode press was guarded. This was contrary to Section 27(1)(a) of the act.

In addition to the fines, 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.