Blog Post #388 – Oxford Plastics Inc. Fined $50,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Oxford Plastics Inc., a manufacturer of plastic products, was fined $50,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On March 19, 2010, at the company’s Embro, ON facility, a worker was making an adjustment to a machine that held large coils of plastic tubing. The worker was underneath the plastic tubing when one of the coils fell off. The worker was struck and injured. A second worker was also injured trying to assist the first.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the coils had not been secured against tipping or falling.

Oxford Plastics Inc. was found guilty of the following:

• Failing to ensure that the coils of plastic tubing were secured against tipping or falling
• Failing to take the reasonable precaution of securing or blocking the motion of the coils while a worker was underneath
• Failing to take the reasonable precaution of conducting a hazard analysis on the machine in question

The fine was imposed by Justice Thomas McKeogh. 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:

Oxford Plastics Inc. was found guilty of violating section 46 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“Machinery, equipment or material that may tip or fall and endanger any worker shall be secured against tipping of falling.”

Oxford Plastics Inc. was also found guilty of violating section 25, subsection 2(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

Section 25, subsection 2, clause h, of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is the most highly used sections by the MOL today. (at least over the past few years) I do not have an accurate account but there are numerous blog posts on this site that have seen section 2(h) used because there was not another specific section to apply to the accident.

Here we find that there WAS a section but the MOL was doing it due diligence by adding the second section as well. I commend them for their actions and agree with their decision in this case. It is nice to fall back on this piece of legislation since most accidents appear to be a lack of reasonable precaution on the part of the employer to protect their workers.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need including ‘Material Handling’. 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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