Siemens Wind Power fined $60K after worker falls
By Anthony Capkun
June 21, 2017 – Siemens Wind Power Ltd. has pleaded guilty and been fined $60,000 after a worker first fell from a weigh scale and was subsequently struck by a moving loader, reports Ontario’s Ministry of Labour.
Formerly operating as Siemens Canada Ltd., the company manufactures wind turbine blades at a plant at located in Tillsonburg, Ont.
In July 2015, a worker at the plant was injured after falling from a wind turbine blade situated on a weigh scale. The blade had been lifted there by means of a loader equipped with a C-clamp. The clamp had been hooked to the blade, and the loader lifted the blade onto the weigh scale. Once the weighing had been done, the worker attempted to unhook the clamp by climbing up inside the blade (which is hollow) while balancing on the perimeter rim into which the hook was placed. This method was used because a ladder would not fit between the loader and the weigh scale.
The worker lost his balance and fell about 6 feet to the floor. At that point, the loader operator got out of the loader to help the worker, not realizing the machine was still in gear. The loader rolled forward and struck the fallen worker, who suffered multiple injuries as a result.
MoL says Siemens Wind Power failed to take the reasonable precaution of providing a work platform or other surface from which a worker could work while attaching or unhooking a C-clamp from the root end of wind turbine blades. This is contrary to Sections 25(2)(h) and 66(1) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act.
Besides the fine of $60,000, the court also imposed the standard 25% victim fine surcharge.