Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A temporary worker at a metal fabrication plant was critically injured while operating a metal-polishing lathe. Under Ontario’s health and safety laws the worker should have been protected from injury by a shield or barrier and should have been provided with protective apparel.
Drummond Metal Fabrication Ltd. (formerly known as Repath Industries Ltd.) contracted with a temporary employment agency to hire a worker as a metal polisher on or about October 16, 2015.
On October 21, 2015, the worker was tasked with polishing a circular metal plate for use as a furniture component by using a metal-polishing lathe. The lathe was mounted with two circular grinders or polishers that rotated when the machine was in operation.
The worker was instructed to polish the metal plate by inserting a metal rod through a hole in the centre of the metal plate. While holding on to the rod, the worker was then told to apply the metal plate to the rotating grinder. This would cause the metal plate to spin and allow for it to be polished.
The spinning metal plate was not guarded by a shield or barrier. The worker was not provided with protective apparel to prevent injury by the spinning metal plate.
The worker lost control of the metal plate soon after applying it to the rotating grinder. The spinning metal plate touched the worker’s arm and caused a severe leg injury.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Industrial Establishments Regulation, it is an offence for an employer to fail to ensure that a machine is shielded or guarded so that a product or material being processed does not endanger the safety of any worker.
It is also an offence for an employer to fail to ensure that where a worker is exposed to the hazard of injury from contact of the worker’s skin with a sharp or jagged object which may puncture or cut a worker’s skin, the worker is provided with apparel sufficient to protect the worker by injury.
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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Drummond Metal Fabrication Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ sector regulation, section 26 which states,
“A machine shall be shielded or guarded so that the product, material being processed or waste stock will not endanger the safety of any worker.”
Drummond Metal Fabrication Ltd. was also found guilty of a contravention of the OHSA section 84, subsection (e) which states,
“A worker exposed to the hazard of injury from contact of the worker’s skin with,
shall be protected by,
(e) wearing apparel sufficient to protect the worker from injury.”
Since these were a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 1(c), Drummond Metal Fabrication Ltd. was found guilty. It states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
On January 20, 2017 a supervisor formerly employed by the company was fined $3,500 after pleading guilty to failing to ensure that a worker wore apparel sufficient to protect the worker from injury.
The supervisor was also charged under section 84, subsection (e).
The conviction was in direct contravention of the OHSA, section 27, subsection 1(a) which states,
“A supervisor shall ensure that a worker,
(a) works in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and the regulations.”
What else is there left to be said. The supervisor is responsible for the safety of his/her safety in the workplace. The company needs to ensure this with proper workplace operating procedures that take into consideration all aspects of safety. As well, the machinery MUST be engineered properly and adheres to all the regulatory requirements!
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
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.