Blog Post #480 – Toronto Star Newspapers Limited Fined $85,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, a newspaper publishing company, was fined $85,000 for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On June 6, 2011, a crew was working at the newspaper’s Vaughan Press Centre in Woodbridge, where its newsprint products are printed. A worker was assigned to clean the rollers on one of the press units to prepare for bearer pre-tensioning, which involves the adjusting of pressure between the rollers to ensure the quality of print.

The worker activated the “crawl mode,” which rotates the rollers at five revolutions a minute. The worker then cleaned the bottom roller with a rag soaked in solvent. The finger guard had been removed prior to the procedure.

The rag got caught in the rollers and was pulled into the unguarded pinch point, also drawing in the worker’s hand. The worker sustained hand injuries.

Toronto Star Newspapers Limited pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the rollers were stopped during its cleaning, and that it was properly blocked to prevent its movement.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Grainne M.K. Forrest 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:

Toronto Star Newspaper Limited was found guilty of a contravention of section 75 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“A part of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when,

(a) Motion that may endanger a worker has stopped; and

(b) Any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement.”

Toronto Star Newspaper Limited was also found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 1(c) of the Ontario Occupational health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

Lockout and tagout, machine guarding and other such preventative measures, are used on a daily basis to protect the machinery and the workers on or near them. The working world is well familiar with these types of procedures and I was surprised a company of this size was NOT aware of them. If they were then the workers were not properly supervised and the employer is at fault for that as well.

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 ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Machine Guarding’ 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 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

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