Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Note: The defendant has a prior conviction from an incident occurring on March 3, 2008, and paid a fine of $60,000.

 A worker, employed by Morbern Inc. of Cornwall, Ontario, a designer and manufacturer of decorative vinyl upholstery for the health care, hospitality, automotive, trucking, transportation and marine markets, was injured after being pulled into a table with moving parts.

On December 23, 2018, a worker employed by Morbern Inc. was working at a Testa table (a mechanized table used by industry), inspecting a roll of vinyl fabric.

While reversing the movement of the roll of fabric during the inspection, the worker used a hand to apply tension to the fabric, instead of using an in-house safety strap developed for this purpose. As a result, the worker’s arm was pulled into an in-running nip hazard, and the worker sustained an injury.

On December 23, 2018, the defendant failed to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that this worker used the in-house safety strap when reversing the roll of vinyl at the Testa table, contrary to the OHSA.

Following a guilty plea on May 4, 2021, in provincial offences court in Cornwall, Morbern Inc. was fined $65,000 by Justice of the Peace Ginette Forgues; Crown Counsel Indira Stewart.

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:

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

“An employer shall,

(h)     Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”     

One would think that a health and safety conviction that is public and high profile would drive a safety culture at their facility or risk the chance for more fines and possible lower customer confidence.

I guess Morbern doesn’t see it that way.

I wonder how many more accidents have to happen before they get the message? How many more employees need to get hurt or killed before they get the message?

Time will tell!

By the way, Morbern Inc. could have also been charged under the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation 851/90, section 25, which states,

“An in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point.” 

 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
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.