Worker Injury Due to Unsafe Staircase at Magna International – Cosma Division – Karmax Heavy Stamping

Worker Injury Due to Unsafe Staircase at Magna International – Cosma Division – Karmax Heavy Stamping

FROM THE:  COURT BULLETIN

Fall on Stairs Injures Worker, $60,000 Fine for Karmax in Aurora

January 24, 2020

Labour, Training and Skills Development


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Convicted: Magna International Inc. operating as Karmax Heavy Stamping, 337 Magna Drive, Aurora, Ontario, a manufacturer  of automotive parts.

Location of Workplace: The company’s plant facility at 333 Market Drive, Milton, Ontario.

Description of Offence: A worker fell and was injured while simultaneously carrying a part and climbing stairs to reach the top of a platform.

Date of Offence: March 23, 2018.

Date of Conviction: January 23, 2020.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following a guilty plea,  Karmax was fined $60,000 in provincial offences court in Burlington by Justice of the Peace Karen Murphy; Crown Counsel Nicole Sylvester.
  • The court also 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.

Background:

  • On March 23, 2018, a worker was assisting another in carrying an automation feeder part while ascending two stairs to reach the top of a platform.
  • The worker fell while ascending the second step, just prior to reaching the platform, sustaining an injury.
  • A (then) Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the stairs were inconsistent in their rise. The height variances between adjacent stairs indicated that the worker would have stepped onto each step with a 1 inch (2.54 cm) or greater height difference. The riser height of the ground to the first stair measured 23.8 cm, the riser height between the first and the second step measured 17.78 cm, and the riser height between the second step and the platform ranged between 20.3 to 21.6 cm.
  • A Ministry of Labour ergonomist concluded that the two-person lift-and-carry task required the workers’ attention to be split between the safe handling of the automation feeder, lifting as a team, and ascending onto the platform. The attention required when performing a team lift – combined with the variances between adjacent steps – was a hazard with respect to tripping and falling on the stairs.
  • Given these circumstance, Karmax failed as an employer to ensure that the carrying of the automation feeder in tandem on the stairs did not endanger the safety of any worker as prescribed by section 45(a) of the Ontario Regulation 851/90 at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1

Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1

Worker Injury Due to Unsafe Staircase at Magna International - Cosma Division - Karmax Heavy Stamping

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About the Author: Bernard Aybout

In the land of bytes and bits, a father of three sits, With a heart for tech and coding kits, in IT he never quits. At Magna's door, he took his stance, in Canada's wide expanse, At Karmax Heavy Stamping - Cosma's dance, he gave his career a chance. With a passion deep for teaching code, to the young minds he showed, The path where digital seeds are sowed, in critical thinking mode. But alas, not all was bright and fair, at Magna's lair, oh despair, Harassment, intimidation, a chilling air, made the workplace hard to bear. Management's maze and morale's dip, made our hero's spirit flip, In a demoralizing grip, his well-being began to slip. So he bid adieu to Magna's scene, from the division not so serene, Yet in tech, his interest keen, continues to inspire and convene.