Blog Post #1523 – Workplace Injury Results in $50,000 Fine for Kitchener-based Company

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Rapid Precision Machining & Gearing Ltd. of Kitchener, Ontario, was injured while operating a metal lathe. Rapid Gear failed as an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker at a workplace contrary to sections on the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

On November 9, 2021, a worker was polishing a metal shaft on a manual lathe in the Company’s fabrication shop. The worker was holding a piece of emery paper and using it to polish the shaft as it rotated on the lathe. The worker was wearing a tightly fitted cloth glove with a rubber palm and fingers.

While polishing the rotating shaft, the emery paper stuck to the rubber fingers of the worker’s glove. The paper then became entangled with the rotating shaft. This resulted in a critical injury.

The Company has a health and safety policy, but none of the workers had seen or been made aware of its contents. The policy refers to a health and safety coordinator, but that position was unfilled at the time. Individuals identified as supervisors had not completed the Occupational Health and Safety Supervisor Awareness Course.

The Company’s policy specified that only workers with appropriate trade qualifications were to use the lathe. The injured worker, however, was not so qualified, and neither were two of the three workers who regularly used the lathe.

Training on the lathe, including hazards associated with it, was only verbally communicated and undocumented. The manual for the lathe was in Czech, a language no one at the workplace spoke.

There was also no standard operating procedure for the use of the metal lathe, or the task involved at the time of the incident. Workers were unaware of alternate, safer means of polishing.

Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Kitchener, Ontario, Rapid Gear (the Company) was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael Cuthbertson; Crown Counsel, Judy Chan.

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:

Rapid Precision Machining & Gearing Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the (OHSA) section 25, subsection 2(a) which states,

“An employer shall,

  • provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

The fines are included in section 66 of the OHSA and can be as high as $2,000,000 for employers.

A health and safety coordinator would have been a big help in setting up a proper safety culture at their facility.

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 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.





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