Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Welded Tube of Canada Limited, a Concord steel manufacturer, was fined $120,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On August 19, 2009, a worker at the company’s Concord factory was helping to change over part of a mill used to shape steel sheets into tubes. The worker was standing near the back of the mill when a section of the mill was moved into place using a rack and pinion drive system. The worker’s leg was pinched between a moving rack and the mill, breaking the worker’s leg.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the area of the mill where the worker was standing was not guarded to prevent access to the pinch point between the moving rack and the frame of the mill.

Welded Tube of Canada Limited pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the machinery was guarded to prevent access to its pinch point.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Philip Solomon. 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Welded Tube of Canada Limited was found guilty of a contravention of section 25 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 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.”

Pinch points, who would have thought of pinch points as a hazard? Well, the Ontario government thought enough of the term to give it its own section. It is just too bad that the engineering section of Welded Tube of Canada did not read the relevant sections of the regulation prior to designing the equipment.

Remember, the employer has to do everything reasonable to protect its workforce. Here we find another company lacking the appropriate safety skills and knowledge to work safely. This company would have been better served to have hired a safety officer with an extensive knowledge of the ACT and appropriate regulations.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

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

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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