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Company Fined $130,000 after Worker Suffers Head Injury

A company designs and builds tunnel boring machines (TBMs). A TBM was hydraulically pressurized to ensure its components and functions were working properly. But the company failed to confirm that a safety device called an accumulator had been depressurized. When a crew unscrewed a hydraulic hose that was connected to the accumulator, a jet of hydraulic oil hit a worker in the face and neck. He fell and suffered head injuries. The MOL found that the company had failed to ensure the pressure inside the accumulator’s gas compartment was adjusted to atmospheric pressure before a hydraulic fitting was removed. The court fined it $130,000 [Caterpillar Tunneling Canada Corp., Govt. News Release, Dec. 23, 2011].