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Coquitlam metal shop fined $20K after employee gets caught in machine

They sustained serious injuries after contacting a moving part while adjusting a press machine with, what were deemed as, inadequate safeguards.
Metal shop punch press machine - kadmy Getty Images
A Coquitlam metal worker was seriously injured after he made contact while trying to adjust a press machine.

A metal shop worker was seriously injured while recently operating a machine at a Coquitlam manufacturer.

WorkSafeBC has been issued a five-figure fine for P.T.l. Punch Tools Inc. resulting from the incident, according to a summary sent to the Tri-City News today (July 8).

The provincial agency says the ticket — worth exactly $20,474.24 — was due to a lack of adequate safeguards, calling the scenario a repeated, high-risk violation.

In its statement, WorkSafeBC says the worker was adjusting the clip of a press machine while it was still in motion at P.T.I.'s shop (211 Schoolhouse St.).

They "contacted a moving part" while doing so and sustained serious injuries.

"WorkSafeBC determined the method of safeguard routinely used for the machine was not adequate to protect workers from injury," the agency's statement adds. 

"The firm failed to ensure that machinery was fitted with adequate safeguard that prevent workers from accessing hazardous points of operation, a repeated and high-risk violation."

P.T.I. Punch Tools' fine was issued on June 23.

The company's profile on says it started out as a distributor of tool and die makers and industrial supplies in 1980.

Since then, it's grown to specialize in complete punching assemblies like strip layout, punch and die manufacture and punch presses.

Meanwhile, a Metro Vancouver construction company was also fined while working on a recent project in Coquitlam.

Tuffco Construction Ltd. was set back $2,500 was issued a stop-work order for failing to remove hazardous materials from a housing demolition project, including asbestos.

The Burnaby-based company was originally sent to conduct asbestos abatement before the home was ripped apart and reported to WorkSafeBC they cleared it all.

However, the agency's follow-up inspection unveiled the Tuffco representative who initially confirmed the clearance was not qualified to make that call and the firm failed to remove or contain all of the asbestos involved.

"These were both repeated violations," WorkSafeBC adds in a separate report.

"The firm also failed to prevent the spread of asbestos dust and debris to other work areas, and failed to ensure that the written procedures of the qualified person were followed. These were all high-risk violations."

The fine was issued to Tuffco on June 9.