Blog Post #1054 – Stone Company Sentenced over Incident

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A company that manufactures concrete products in Woodbridge, Ontario was fined $55,000 on May 24, 2019 over a critical injury.

On January 26, 2018, an employee of Best Way Stone Limited was getting the facility’s HESS line, which is used to manufacture paving stones, ready for production. According to Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, the worker was operating the HESS line from a control room when a transfer board become jammed in the de-stacker.

The worker entered the de-stacker are through a metal screen door and two sliding gates and pushed the stuck board, causing it to move into the HESS machine. At that point the chain drive, which was still operating, moved a stack of 16 backed-up transfer boards weighing 1,600 pounds from the stack holder into the de-stacker area. The moving stack of boards struck and moved the worker into a lift table, resulting in critical injuries.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the exposed moving parts of the de-stacker and associated chain drives were equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving parts.

My opinion

When I first read this report, I was not aware of what a HESS line actually is. The definition:

The HESS line is used in the manufacture of paving stones. It includes the HESS machine and a de-stacker, which pushes transfer boards carrying the formed paving stones through the line and into the HESS machine. The Hess Group of Companies offers a comprehensive range of block-making machines and accessories.

My next thought was to consider if HESS engineered the machine with guards already in place. I would say yes. The HESS name is not prominent in the sentencing phase of the accident/incident report by the manufacturer. Best Way Stone Limited was found guilty all on their own. One would have to assume that the guards were removed at some time.

I also considered if the company had a Lockout and Tagout policy and procedure. Hmm… and where was the supervisor in all this?

By the way, if the reader is unaware of the term “Critical Injury” I have listed the definition and its location (regulation) below;

Ontario regulation 834 – Critical Injury Defined

“Critically Injured” means 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.”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that stands ready to help you with all your health and safety needs. (personal or organizational)

Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

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.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.


Leave a Comment