Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/10/2014 (2120 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Glenboro company has been fined $40,000 for a workplace accident in which a teen’s fingers were partially cut off.
A director for Norbert’s Manufacturing pleaded guilty on behalf of the company in Brandon provincial court this week to a charge under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
In this case, the company failed to ensure that the teen was properly trained and supervised to safely operate a hydraulic cutting shear.
Crown attorney John Burchill said the accident happened at Norbert’s Manufacturing on April 3, 2012. The company — which specializes in making trailers and related products — employs about 30 people and has annual gross sales of about $5 million.
The victim was 16 years old at the time. He’d been working about two months at Norbert’s as a welder as part of a high school apprenticeship program.
It was the teen’s first time operating the hydraulic cutting shear. He was using it to trim a number of “step covers” that had been previously cut too large by a plasma cutter.
The cutting action of the hydraulic shear is triggered using a foot pedal, which frees the worker’s hands to hold the material being cut in place.
The teen’s supervisor showed the youth how to operate the machine, and then watched the teen perform the task. Satisfied, the supervisor then walked 20 feet to another machine to do some work himself while the youth continued.
The machine has a guard intended to protect the worker’s hands from its blades, but the youth had been shown how to use the machine with the guard up and not in position.
The guard wasn’t in place because the metal being cut was small. Clamps, usually used to hold the material being cut in place, weren’t used because they got in the way — a violation of Norbert’s own procedures.
During his work, the teen slipped as he pressed the foot pedal and four of his fingers were partially amputated.
Despite his injury, he was able to return to perform limited work three months later. He was able to return to full welding duties by the end of August 2012.
He remained with Norbert’s until October of 2013 when he left to attend college.
Following the accident, safety improvements were made to the cutting shear and to the company’s policy, Burchill said.
Defence lawyer Patrick Sullivan said that the victim was a friend of the family that runs Norbert’s. This particular accident is specifically reviewed with every new employee, Sullivan said.
Judge Donovan Dvorak fined Norbert’s Manufacturing $40,000, which came with an additional $10,000 surcharge.
» Twitter: @IanHitchen
As we navigate through unprecedented times, our journalists are working harder than ever to bring you the latest local updates to keep you safe and informed.
Now, more than ever, we need your support.
Starting at $4.99/month you can access your Brandon Sun online and full access to all content as it appears on our website.Subscribe Now
or call circulation directly at (204) 727-0527.
Your pledge helps to ensure we provide the news that matters most to your community!