Blog Post #1187 – Worker’s Permanent Injury Results in $100,000 Fine for Ottawa Remediation Company

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker employed by Clean Water Works Inc., an Ottawa-based company that provides environmental remediation services such as hazardous waste disposal, tank cleaning, contaminated soils and lagoon cleanings as well as plumbing and sewer rehabilitation services to the residential, commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, received a permanent critical injury after being caught in a moving conveyor.

A worker employed by Clean Water Works Inc. was assisting with the preparation of a liner designed for sealing leaks in sewer lines.

The worker was pulled into the pinch point of an in-running nip hazard created by two rollers on a moving conveyor known as the wet-out plant conveyor. The worker sustained critical injuries.

Clean Water Works Inc. failed to ensure that the in-running nip hazard on the machine known as the wet-out plant conveyor was guarded by a guard or other device that prevented access to the pinch point.

On May 09, 2019, following a guilty plea, the company was fined $100,000 by Justice of the Peace Jocelyne St Jean in Ottawa court; Crown Counsel Shantanu Roy.

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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Clean Water Works Inc. 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.”

This is contrary to 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.”

Another machine guarding incident. There seems to be so many in the ‘Industrial’ sector that the Ministry of Labour (MOL) was out in force with workplace inspections looking for possible machine guarding hazards.

I hope they have everything in place and have received training about Machine Guarding and know that there are many types including:

  1. Fixed guards,
  2. Adjustable guards,
  3. Self-adjusting guards, and
  4. Interlocked guards.

Too many workplaces have poorly engineered machine guards and end up being another MOL statistic. Check out HRS Group Inc. and see if we can help you.

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 We can also be reached at 

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.

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