More on Mist Collectors

Health & Safety Report, February 7th 2017

In October we reported the progress we made on the mist collector issue and that we were able to demonstrate to the company how this critical equipment, that filters oil mist from the air we breathe in the plant, was being inadequately maintained. This was supposed to result in the creation of a weekly preventative maintenance schedule in all departments for our maintenance trades, in addition to the weekly work of Knights Facilities Management that requires people to actually open the machines and physically look inside the mist collectors to verify the condition of the filters.

As with all new programs there have been growing pains that were recently highlighted to us by the observations of members on the floor. Issues reported on PM’s were not being addressed, units were not being cleaned, and one department wasn’t even doing the regular PM despite worker’s complaints of a cloud of oil mist escaping from their machines as they cycle.

After the horror show in M/C #8 in Prismatics was uncovered on January 21, the evidence of these deficiencies helped us to further convince the company of the importance of these PM’s. They have agreed to reclassify them as a Safety PM, which will make them a higher priority over Maintenance PM’s for completion and they will now be tracked at the Assistant Plant Manager’s level. Any follow up work orders generated by these PM’s will also be classed as Safety, will take priority for repair and will also be tracked. This has also kick started a serious review of the condition of all of the mist collectors in the plant, with many findings including units not properly piped for primary filter wash in Prismatics. All these issues not resolved in 30 days will be escalated to the Plant Safety Review Board.

We will continue to monitor this issue, and we want to thank all who have helped us. Operators are always the first stage in the monitoring chain. A simple observation that the sump tank is empty, or the magnahelic gauge located on the electrical panel that measures airflow across the filters, is reading zero or more than 3, this is all critical information and should be reported to your G/L. If they cannot address your concern immediately, ask them to document it on your SPQRC board. Failure to maintain this critical equipment is against the law. If you have been experiencing symptoms relating to your exposure to Metalworking Fluids, please contact us so that we can assist you in getting your exposure documented.

Management of Change

We recently discovered a Management of Change document that contained a recommendation from the Master Joint Health and Safety Committee that all safety policy changes that directly affect Unifor represented employees be reviewed with the Local Joint Health and Safety Committee. We also discovered some safety policy changes made without JHSC approval after we took over July 1, and the company has been put on notice that these changes will not be recognized by the Union until we have had a chance to discuss the changes, make any necessary revisions and jointly approve them. If you are aware of any recent safety policy changes that affect you and may not have been approved by the JHSC, please let us know.

Unifor Health and Safety Rep Edward Steers, 905 641 6420, cell 905 658 3271, email:

Alternate Unifor Health and Safety Rep Mike Pagano,   905 641 6420, email: