Salvage company fined for worker injury

London Salvage and Trading Company Limited was fined $55,000 after a worker was critically injured.

The company pleaded guilty in provincial offences court in London, Ontario, and was convicted in November 28, 2022.

On November 26, 2021 Three workers were engaged in dismantling a bulldozer in the yard of the company’s Egerton Street facility in London.

Two workers were using cutting torches, while the third operated a mobile crane moving pieces to be cut or which had been cut.

One worker was cutting a large piece of the bulldozer that included a spring tension assembly. The assembly contained a hollow bore in which a spring was inserted. The spring was approximately 45 inches long and eight inches in diameter.

A cover with a shaft protruding from its centre was mechanically fastened to the open end of the bore, enclosing the bore, and compressing the spring within the assembly.

While the worker was standing in front of the cover while using a cutting torch on it the cover became separated from the assembly. This released the energy stored in the spring, causing the cover and shaft to be propelled outwards and striking the worker.

This resulted in a critical injury.

The company had a procedure for dismantling bulldozers; however, this procedure did not address the hazard of the release of energy from the spring tension assembly. The worker had not been provided with the procedure document or told of its contents.

London Salvage and Trading Company Limited failed as an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker with respect to the safe dismantling of a bulldozer at the workplace. This was contrary to section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), an offence pursuant to section 66(1) of the Act.

In addition to the $55,000 fine, the court also imposed a 25% 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.