Blog Post #1210 – Critical Injury Results in $50,000 Fine for Kitchener Company

Blog Post #1210 – Critical Injury Results in $50,000 Fine for Kitchener Company

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

 A worker was critically injured while installing a printing plate on a printing machine on January 17, 2018. The worker was employed by THS Industries Ltd., of Kitchener, Ontario, a company that manufactures steel nails.

A worker was installing a rubber flexible printing plate on the Automatic Flexo Printing machine at the workplace. A co-worker was operating the controls of the machine and could not see the worker who was on the other side of the machine.

The first worker became pinned between two rollers of the machine while it was operating and received critical injuries as a result of the incident.

A Ministry of Labour inspection revealed that the injured worker did not receive adequate information, instruction, and supervision on how to safely operate the printing press.

The defendant has a prior conviction with an offence date of April 13, 2016. In that incident, a machine was found to be unguarded. The Ministry of Labour placed a “stop work order” on the machine; however, the machine was used before the ministry lifted the stop work order. No one was injured. The company was fined $20,000 on April 10, 2017.

On August 12, 2019, following a guilty plea, THS Industries Ltd. was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Ralph Cotter in Kitchener provincial offences court; Crown Counsel Neil Gobardhan.

The court also 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

THS Industries Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 2(a) which states,

“An employer shall,

  • provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

The worker suffered what is called a “Critical Injury”.

Ontario regulation 834 defines a “Critical Injury” as:

“An injury of a serious nature that,

(a) places life in jeopardy,

(b) produces unconsciousness,

(c) results in substantial loss of blood,

(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,

(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,

(f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or

(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.”

Since THS Industries Ltd. had a previous conviction, one would wonder if a properly trained safety professional was hired to correct systemic safety problems that seem to be quite evident here.

A safety professional would have completed JHAs and see what type of training needs THS Industries Ltd. required. Obviously, section 24 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 on “Machine Guarding” would have been the first course.

A safety professional would also be well acquainted with section 25 of the OHSA since there are many employer responsibilities listed here and training would be required to meet most of them.

I guess they didn’t see the need.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan
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