Blog Post #309 – 3M Canada Company Fined $55,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

3M Canada Company was fined $55,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On September 24, 2009, a worker at 3M’s manufacturing facility in Perth was operating a production line. The worker was notified of a defect in the product coming out of the line. To fix the problem, the worker attempted to wipe a blade in the line. The blade was attached to a pair of rollers that guided the product through the line. The worker’s hand was drawn into the machine by these rollers. The worker suffered a hand injury.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the blade and rollers were not guarded.

3M Canada Company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the machine was guarded to prevent access to the pinch point.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Raymond J. Switzer. In addition to the fine, the court 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:

3M Canada Company was found guilty of  a contravention of section 25 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 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.”

Where was the machine engineering in all this? Why was there not any safety included in the conveyor rollers as required? Why is it always the same response when a machine guarding accident happens? (I didn’t know my responsibilities)

No one should build products unless all safety devices have been added to ensure the safety of any worker.

Let us all be made aware of something like this. All employers need to include health and safety in the design phase of the machinery. The manufacturers of the machines would be the first place I would look before I ever start the regular build.

Please look at safety first before you ever begin building products. The MOL will surely come to visit is your reputation does not include health and safety.

By the way, I was shocked to find that 3M was not working safely. Their reputation is one of high quality and high safety. Maybe it was just the local plant.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

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 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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