Blog Post #719 – Interlake Acquisition Corporation Ltd. Fined $65,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Interlake Acquisition Corporation Ltd., a producer of paper products including private-label tissue, food wrapping, coffee filters, hand towels and napkins, has pleaded guilty and has been fined $65,000 after a worker suffered injuries after being pulled against moving machinery.

On June 26, 2013, a worker was using a paper-making machine that produces paper products at the company’s facility at 45 Merritt Street in St. Catharines. The machine winds the finished products onto large rolls in the reel section of the production line.

The worker began using an air hose to clean debris from the machine. In doing so, the worker came closer than normal to the machine’s rotating core drive shaft. The air hose nozzle contacted the rotating shaft and became entangled on it; the worker was pulled against the end of the paper roll and was injured as the roll continued to turn. The worker sustained injuries that included fractured bones and a soft tissue injury.

An investigation of the incident by the Ministry of Labour concluded that the company committed the offence of failing as an employer to ensure that Section 24 of Regulation 851/90 (known as the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation) was carried out in the workplace.

Interlake Acquisition Corporation Limited pleaded guilty and was fined $65,000 by Justice of the Peace Brett A. Kelly in St. Catharines court on October 10, 2014.

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:

Interlake Acquisition Corporation Limited was found guilty of a contravention of section 24 of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation 851/90 which states,

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

Interlake Acquisition Corporation Limited was also found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Ontario Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

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

There is a large subsection in the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which deals directly, or indirectly with ‘Machine Guarding’. (sections 24-44.2 inclusive) Every employer, every industrial engineer, every manufacturing engineer MUST become familiar with the ‘Machine Guarding’ requirements under the law. Why wouldn’t they?

Why would a piece of equipment or production machine be missing a crucial piece of protection for the worker when in operation? Is there a plan to remove and replace guarding when providing maintenance? There has to be a set of procedures dealing with all these issues.

The reader would be aghast if this had been a table saw with the guarding removed, but it happens. The reader needs to be aware of this type of accident and ensure that YOUR employer is made aware of the situation and can make the necessary changes, if required.

REMEMBER, if there is a chance for a worker to come in contact with a moving part of a machine, then there must be a guard of some kind to control the hazard.

THAT is the law!

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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