Flooring company fined after worker dies in wood-drying kiln
January 23, 2020 | 10:29 am CST
TORONTO - A Canadian flooring manufacturer has been fined $225,000 after a worker was killed on the job in late 2017.
The worker was killed at Satin Finish Hardwood Flooring's Toronto manufacturing facility after being trapped in a wood-drying kiln. He suffered severe heat injuries.
On December 17 - the day of the incident - two workers were tasked with fixing a manufacturing damper on one of the company's three kilns, reports Daily Commercial News. They found the damper to be frozen open and decided to let the heat from the kiln melt the ice. Later that day, they met to check to see if it had thawed out. They turned off the kiln, but it still would remain hot for some time.
One worker went into the kiln's control room through the rear door and the other went on the roof to see if they could see sunlight, and confirm whether or not the damper was functional. Upon returning from the roof, the worker could not locate the other worker.
The worker and supervisor entered the kiln through the front door and found the other worker on the ground and unresponsive. The temperature was 149 degrees and humidity was high. Emergency services were unable to revive the worker.
An investigation revealed the worker tried to open the front door from the inside, but a corroded door latch made that impossible. He must have succumbed before making it back to the rear door.
The official report declares Satin Finish to be at fault for failing to make sure the door could be opened from the inside.
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