Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
CRS Plastics Ltd., a Vaughan plastic bottle manufacturer, was fined $100,000 for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was fatally injured.
On March 29, 2014, a temporary worker was removing plastic bottles from the end of a blow mould machine at the CRS facility located at 140 Hanlan Road in Vaughan, Ontario. The machine had a moving part that should have been guarded, however that guard had broken and was missing while it underwent repairs. The worker came into contact with the moving part of the machine and was fatally injured.
CRS Plastics Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a machine with a moving part that could endanger a worker was equipped with a guard to prevent access.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Marie-Christine Smythe on August 17, 2015 in Newmarket court. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
The law(s) violated,
CRS Plastics Ltd. was found guilty of a violation of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 24 which states,
“Where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”
My goodness, another death due to a lack of machine guarding! Where was CRS Plastics Ltd. mindset here? Why did they now know about properly engineered machine guarding as a way to protect workers from moving parts? Where was the supervisor? Did the supervisor fell it necessary to report the health and safety issue about machine guarding with the “Temp”? Did the supervisor even know about the safety concern?
Most of the above questions had no answer.
The supervisor was not held responsible because under section 25, subsection 2 (c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) the supervisor was to be a competent person. The OHSA definition for competency is:
‘Competent person’ means a person who,
(a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,
(b) is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and
(c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.
Section 27 of the OHSA, subsection 2 states,
“a supervisor shall,
(a) advise a worker of the existence of any potential or actual danger to the health or safety of the worker of which the supervisor is aware;
(b) where so prescribed, provide a worker with written instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for protection of the worker; and
(c) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
Obviously, the supervisor was not trained properly and could not be held accountable here.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.