Blog Post #1224 – Worker’s Injuries Result in $100,000 Fine for Cambridge Manufacturer

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Canadian General-Tower Ltd., was injured when a conveyor belt pulled the worker into the roller of the machine.

On May 8, 2018, two workers were cleaning a section of a conveyor belt of a calendar (a machine used in the production of rolled vinyl textiles). The conveyor belt section of the machine had been unlocked from its position and oriented to allow for cleaning. A ladder was moved into position to allow the operator to clean the belt. The belt was not locked out and then energized to allow it to rotate while cleaning.

The operator began cleaning the top portion of the belt using a scraper while standing on the ladder while the other worker assisted. The assisting worker was wearing gloves and using a rag to clean the underside of the conveyor belt. The operator left the area and the assisting worker stepped on to the second rung of the ladder to continue cleaning the underside of the belt. The belt was rotating away from the worker.

While cleaning, the assisting worker was pulled by the rotating belt into the idler roller of the conveyor and trapped. Other workers rushed to free the injured worker, who was taken to hospital. The worker suffered critical injuries.

Following a Ministry of Labour investigation into the incident, it was determined that the employer failed to ensure that machinery was only cleaned when in motion.

The company had two previous convictions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Following a guilty plea, Canadian General-Tower Ltd. was fined $100,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson in provincial offences court in Kitchener; 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Canadian General-Tower Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 75 which states,

 “A part of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when,

(a) motion that may endanger a worker has stopped; and

(b) any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement.”

Maintenance must be completed in a safe manner. The machinery needs to be locked and tagged out as well as possibly blocked to ensure that no worker can come in to contact with a moving part. That is the law!

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ 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 

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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