BROCKVILLE, Ontario—A farm equipment sales and service company in Athens, Ontario, was fined $70,000 after a worker was killed in the explosion of a farm tire wheel assembly, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
The Provincial Offences Court in Brockville ordered the fine Jan. 14, 2015 against Feenstra's Equipment Ltd. The company had pleaded guilty to violating Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act in failing to provide every reasonable precaution to protect worker safety, the ministry said.
An employee of Feenstra's, unnamed in the court action, died Oct. 18, 2013 while attempting to inflate a tire, according to the agency.
The worker, a licensed tire technician, had removed the rim and started to mount a replacement tire on it, the ministry said. However, the worker noticed that the rim was bent in several places and that the replacement tire was patched.
The worker obtained a two-way, non-locking air chuck and connected it to an air hose to inflate the tire, the agency said. During inflation, the tire came off the rim and the air pressure caused the wheel assembly to strike the worker in his head and hands, killing him.
The Ministry of Labour cited Feenstra's for not having a locking air chuck on the premises. If Feenstra's had had a locking air chuck, the ministry said, the working would not have had to hold the valve stem while inflating the tire.
In addition to the fine, Justice of the Peace William H. Stewart imposed a 25-percent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge goes to a special provincial government fund to assist crime victims, the ministry said.