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Company Director Fined for Worker Fatality in Toronto

Court Bulletin

Company Director Fined for Worker Fatality in Toronto

Ministry of Labour

Convicted: Robert Markle of Bolton, sole director of JTF Davco Ltd., a company that fabricates screws from brass and other metal stock, among other items.

Location: The company's plant at 80 Millwick Drive, Unit 1, Toronto, Ontario.

Description of Offence: A worker was killed after being caught up in a screw-fabricating machine.

Date of Offence: February 15, 2017.

Date of Conviction: November 8, 2018.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following a guilty plea, company director Robert Markle was fined $22,000 by Justice of the Peace Rosanne Giulietti in Toronto court; Crown Counsel Wes Wilson.
  • 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:

  • Robert Markle is registered as the sole director of JTF Davco Ltd. and occupies all of its officer positions.
  • Among other things, the plant fabricates threaded inserts from brass and other metal stock.
  • On February 15, 2017, a worker who was a machine operator was responsible for overseeing the operation of screw machines, including loading stock into the machines and checking product for quality control.
  • One of the machines used in the plant was a five-spindle automatic screw machine. It had an exposed stock reel composed of a bundle of five tubes into which thin 12-foot rods of brass stock were placed. The stock was inserted into the machine and the machine would fabricate threaded inserts from the stock.
  • The stock reel would complete a partial rotation at fixed intervals to accommodate the insertion of different bars of brass stock into the machine. The stock reel was held together with two locking collars, each of which had five bolts, the heads of which protruded from the collar.
  • During the shift, the worker sat down on a wooden crate near the exposed stock reel. The wooden crate was not a designated seating area. The worker's back was to the bundle.
  • As the stock reel rotated, the exposed bolt heads of one of the collars grabbed the worker's shirt collar and pulled the shirt into the rotation of the stock reel, which fatally injured the worker.
  • The cause of death was determined to be neck compression.
  • The exposed stock reel and locking collars were not protected by a guard or other device to prevent access to the moving parts.
  • Section 24 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation (Ontario Regulation 851), states that "where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part."
  • Robert Markle commited the offence of failing as a director of JTF Davco Ltd. to ensure that the corporation complied with Ontario Regulation 851, contrary to section 32(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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