Blog Post #372 – Waterloo Textiles Ltd. Fined $75,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Waterloo Textiles Ltd., a Cambridge yarn manufacturer, was fined $75,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On August 17, 2009, a worker opened the cover of a machine used to create yarn and found excessive fibers gathered inside. When the worker attempted to remove the fibers, the worker’s finger got caught in the machine. The worker’s arm was drawn in and partially amputated.

Waterloo Textiles Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the machine was equipped with a guard or other device to prevent access to its moving parts.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Gay. 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:

Waterloo Textiles Ltd., was found guilty of violating section 24 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ Regulation 851 which states,

“Where a machine has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine will be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”

He we have the same story and a different person getting hurt due to the lack of machine guarding. The regulation is clear and the worker’s rights are paramount. I was wondering if the worker knew he/she was able to refuse unsafe work? I wonder if the employer even knew that and forced the worker to complete the task anyway? Either way, the employer is at fault.

If criminal intent can be established then section 217.1 of the Canadian criminal code can be used. (formerly Bill C45) There are less restrictions to jail time and there are no limits to the dollar amount of the fines.

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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