Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Iron Mountain Canada Operations ULC, a document-shredding company, has been fined $90,000 for a violation of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker at a Toronto plant lost an arm.

On November 7, 2012, repairs were being done on a conveyor that is part of the shredding operation when material became stuck in the return side of the conveyor in a pit. A worker accessed the pit after opening a gate and climbing down a ladder, then used one hand to reach into an opening to remove the material. The worker’s arm became caught in the conveyor, resulting in the loss of the arm at the shoulder. The event took place at a plant located at 90 The East Mall in Toronto. A Ministry of Labour investigation followed.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the worker had to go through a closed gate to access the pit and the gate had a latch to keep the gate closed. However, there was no mechanism such as a lock or other tool that would prevent a worker from opening the gate to access the area while the conveyor was in operation, and there was no other device in place to prevent access to the pinch point created by the moving underside of the conveyor.

Iron Mountain Canada pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that an in-running nip hazard on the conveyor that endangered the safety of a worker was equipped with and guarded with a device that prevented access to the pinch point, and was fined $90,000.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Mary Anne Ross-Hendricks. 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:

Iron Mountain Canada 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.”

Iron Mountain Canada was also found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA) which states,

“The employer shall ensure that,

The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

As the reader can see, the onus is on the employer to ensure that all procedures involved with the work that are listed in either the OHSA or the appropriate sector regulations, must be carried out in the workplace. There are no exceptions! At the present time, the Minister of Labour, Kevin Flynn, has given the information to the public that his ministry is taking a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy approach when dealing with health and safety issues. I totally agree with that directive. Mind you, he needs to have audits (Gap analyses) completed to ensure that his message is driven to the inspectors and is followed. The management of the inspectors should be doing this audit. It does work and it is necessary.

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 ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Machine Guarding’ 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

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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