Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
An employee of Recochem Inc. suffered a critical and permanent injury while reaching inside a bottle-making machine. Recochem Inc. is a company that produces, packages and distributes chemical products such as windshield washer fluid, automotive antifreeze, diesel exhaust fluid and a variety of household solvents and cleaners.
A worker was operating a plastic blow-moulding machine at the workplace. The machine manufactures 10-litre plastic bottles used in the production of various liquid products from Recochem’s product line.
The worker was notified about issues with the quality of the bottles that the machine was producing.
While the machine was in operation, the worker opened a steel-framed door and climbed to the top of the machine to determine if there was a blockage in the exhaust pipe.
Upon reaching the top of the machine, the worker tripped and fell, becoming caught in an area where sharp moving parts were opening and closing.
The worker suffered a critical injury. Emergency medical services were dispatched and the worker was transported to hospital.
Investigation by the Ministry of Labour revealed that there were no guards or other devices preventing access to the area of the machine where the injury occurred. In addition, the door where the worker entered the machine was not locked or equipped with an interlock.
A Ministry of Labour inspector ordered Recochem to guard the machinery and the company complied by installing an e-stop and added additional guarding to the exterior of the machine.
Following a guilty plea, Recochem Inc. was fined $100,000 by Justice of the Peace Gerry Manno at Burlington Provincial Offences Court; Crown Counsel Jai Dhar.
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:
Recochem Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ sector regulation 851/90, section 24 which states,
“Where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”
This is a direct 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.”
Too bad for the worker. This year, 2020, February and March were deemed to be Machine Guarding months for the ‘Industrial’ sector. The Ministry of Labour (MOL) were out in force in the ‘Industrial’ sector because of all the large number of recent machine guarding accidents/incidents.
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.