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Window manufacturer fined $150,000 after assembly incident, worker fatality

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by DCN News Services

NEWMARKET, ONT. — A window and door manufacturer based in Concord, Ont. pleaded guilty and was fined $150,000 after one worker died and another was injured by material that fell from a work station.
Window manufacturer fined $150,000 after assembly incident, worker fatality

The company, FranCar 2000 Inc., manufactures window walls and doors for highrise condominiums, office buildings and hotels across North America.

It operates a facility located at 330 Applewood Crescent in Concord.

According to a Ministry of Labour (MOL) release, on March 1, 2015, two workers were in the process of adding vent sashes to windows that were taken off the assembly line and placed on a large free-standing work station, called an easel, in the work area.

The easel was used for window assembly and an area at the back of the easel had become a location for storage of extra and loose material; horizontal bars had been added to the back of one easel and some extra or loose material was leaned against it.

During the course of the day, workers placed a volume of these materials behind the easel and the easel began to tip over.

One worker was struck by the easel and pushed away from the direction of its fall. The easel continued to fall over, striking a second worker who was also in the area, knocking the worker to the ground. The easel and the material stored behind it landed on top of the second worker.

As a result of being struck by the easel, the first worker suffered injury and the second worker died as a result of crushing injuries from the weight of the easel and material, adds the release.

An MOL investigation determined that the back of the easel had been used as a storage location for some materials for a number of years prior to the incident and the additional weight of the material added on that day, against and behind the easel, caused it to tip and fall.

Section 45(b)(i) of Ontario Regulation 851 — the Industrial Establishments Regulation — requires that material articles or things shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things, will not tip, collapse or fall.

FranCar 2000 Inc. was fined $150,000 by Justice of the Peace Karen Walker in a Newmarket court on Feb. 3.

The release indicates the court was told that the company has taken a number of steps to guard against similar incidents, which includes securing easels to the floor, hiring health and safety co-ordinators to supplement existing safety staff, a health and safety engineering review and putting into place detailed workplace-specific procedures.

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