Blog Post #559 – Par-Pak Ltd. Fined $90,000 after Worker Injured on Moving Machinery

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Par-Pak Ltd. of Brampton, a manufacturer of plastic food packaging products, was fined $90,000 after a worker was caught in moving machinery and injured.

Workers were operating a machine called a turret winder, used to wind plastic film onto a cardboard core, at the company’s Victoria Crescent location in Brampton on February 12, 2012. A worker taped a piece of plastic film onto the cardboard core on a spindle of the turret winder while standing on a safety mat. The worker stepped off the safety mat, another worker turned on the power to the winder and its spindle began to rotate. The first worker then noticed that the plastic film that had been taped to the core had fallen off, and stepped back onto the safety mat in front of the spindles to re-tape the film. In doing so, the worker became entangled between the rotating spindle and the plastic film, and the worker spun around the spindle once.

Co-workers hit an emergency stop button and came to the worker’s assistance. The worker sustained a fractured bone as a result of the accident.

A Ministry of Labour investigation showed that although the employer had a written procedure stating that workers were never to tape plastic film to a core while a spindle was rotating, and had a certificate of safety compliance, the machine was not adequately guarded as required by regulation to prevent access to the pinch point.

Par-Pak pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that prescribed measures and procedures were carried out in the workplace.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Milagros Eustaquio-Syme. 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:

Par-Pak 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.”

There were many other sections of both the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 as well as the occupational health and safety act (OHSA) itself that could have been used if the accident had been worse.

The company did have a proper set of written work instructions. I commend them for that! The engineering side of the business failed them since there was not adequate guarding in place to protect the worker so sections 24 and 25 were violated. Section 25 was used here but I would look at the engineering side of the business. If the machine was built as a package by a manufacturer then the supplier of the equipment would be at fault. Since they were not involved in the final decision by the MOL then, obviously, this was an internal engineering issue.

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 – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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