Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A worker received a permanent injury while assessing a sugar-filling line at the company’s industrial facility in Scarborough. The company is a food blending and packaging co-manufacturer.
Prior to the accident date of February 24, 2017, Rex Pak, the employer, had installed temporary perimeter fencing around the sugar-filling line as an interim measure while a long-term guarding solution was being designed and manufactured by a third-party engineering company.
On the date in question, the worker did not turn off the agitator which was attached to the hopper for the sugar-filling line before moving the temporary perimeter fence.
The worker placed a hand on a moving drive belt which drew the hand into a pinch point between the drive belt and the agitator pulley and caused the injury.
One of the directors of Rex Pak, Denise Sabatini, was charged under section 32(a) of the act with failing as a director/officer of the company to take reasonable care between December 2016 and February 24, 2017 to ensure that Rex Pak complied with section 25 of the regulation. Sabatini did not ensure that all reasonable steps were taken to protect the worker from a pinch point on a workplace machine.
Following guilty pleas, Rex Pak Ltd. was fined $60,000 and Sabatini was fined $3,500 by Justice of the Peace Paula Hy Phui Liu in Toronto court; Crown Counsel Graeme Adams.
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’ sector regulation 851/90, 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.”
Rex Pak Ltd. was also guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
Denise Sabatini, a director/officer of the corporation was found guilty of a contravention of the OHSA, section 32, subsection (a) which states,
“Every director and every officer of a corporation shall take all reasonable care to ensure that the corporation complies with,
(a) this Act and the regulations.”
I was wondering where the engineering of the equipment and that machine guards were in place and working before any of the operation was to go forward. I guess the Ministry of Labour (MOL) asked the same questions as well. Mind you, Denise had the responsibility of the full facility and did not ask any questions about health and safety or hired the wrong people. Either way, she ended up with the conviction and fine.
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.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.