Blog Post #424 – American Color Graphic Inc. Fined $60,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

American Color Graphics Inc., carrying on business as Vertis Communications, a printing company from the United States, was fined $60,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a young worker was injured.

On August 24, 2010, at the company’s facility in Stevensville, ON, there was a jam in a printing press. Workers shut down the press and engaged a safe button to prevent the machine from restarting as they looked for the jam. A summer student discovered a jam in the rear of the press and started to remove it, out of sight of the other workers. Meanwhile the rest of the crew found a jam in the front of the machine. Not knowing that the student was on the other side of the press attempting to clear another jam, the crew restarted the machine so they could manually jog the paper jam at the front. When the press was restarted and manually jogged forward, the young worker’s hand was drawn between two rollers at the rear of the press. The young worker suffered a hand injury.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the area of the press where the worker’s hand was drawn in was protected by a guard but it was inadequate to prevent the worker’s hand from being drawn into the rollers.

American Color Graphics Inc., carrying on business as Vertis Communications, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the in-running nip hazard on the press was equipped with a guard or other device that prevented access to its pinch point.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Kerry Boon. 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:

American Color Graphic Inc. 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.”

Another student unaware of the hazards associated with the shut down procedure and temporary repair procedure as was the case here. The operator was unaware of the student near the machine and was not in total control of the shut down procedure. This was to have been a planned event and all employees needed to have been briefed prior to the search of the jam-up.

The company needs to ensure that there are sets of SOPs always available whether it is the standard operating procedures or the temporary shutdown of the machines for repair purposes. All aspects of the work has to be identified and written down as to the correct procedure will always be followed.

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’ and ‘Lockout and Tagout’. 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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