Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
On August 30, 2016, a Ministry of Labour health and safety inspector attended the workplace of Rex Pak Limited for a follow-up visit in order to verify compliance with a previously issued machine guarding order.
Although that order was complied with, the inspector observed additional machine guarding contraventions. It was possible for workers to be exposed to moving parts and in-running nip hazards on various parts of the machinery on nine production lines.
This resulted in 27 orders requiring Rex Pak Ltd. to ensure that each of the observed exposed moving parts and in-running nip hazards were equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to hazardous moving parts and pinch points, as required by sections 24 and 25 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
On December 1, 2016 the inspector conducted a follow-up visit to verify compliance with the orders issued on August 30, 2016. None of the 27 orders had been complied with.
In addition, the inspector noted further machine guarding contraventions relating to worker access to exposed moving parts and in-running nip hazards on various parts of the machinery on 14 other production lines as well as a defeated existing interlock sensor on one other production line. The inspector issued 34 additional orders; 32 of which related to machine guarding.
On May 24, 2017, the inspector returned to the workplace for a follow-up visit to verify compliance with the orders issued on August 30, 2016 and December 1, 2016. The inspector noted non-compliance with 16 of the 27 machine guarding orders issued on the August 30, 2016 visit and 12 of the 34 machine guarding orders issued on the December 1, 2016 visit.
As a result, Rex Pak Ltd. failed as an employer to comply with orders of an Inspector at a workplace, contrary to section 66(1)(b) of the OHSA.
Rex Pak Limited pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to comply with orders issued by a health and safety inspector and was fined $60,000.
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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Rex Pak Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation 851/90, section 24 which states,
“Where a machine has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”
Rex Pak Ltd. was also found guilty of a contravention of the same regulation, 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.”
Because of the company’s lack of ability to following an inspector’s orders, Rex Pak Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, section 66, subsection 1(b) which states,
“Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with,
(b) an order or requirement of an inspector or a Director; or
is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than twelve months, or to both.”
Machine Guarding is such an important part of the workplace that there are sections, directing compliance, in each of the 4 sector regulations (Construction 213/91, Mining and Mining plants 854, Healthcare 67/93 as well as Industrial)
Does the employer not understand that a lawsuit can be issued for failing to meet regulatory requirements? Isn’t the safety of the worker the #1 priority? I guess Rex Pak didn’t get the safety memo.
By the way, where was the safety people in HR in all this?
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
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.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.