Blog Post #806 – Metro Paper Industries Fined $75,000 After Worker Injures Fingers

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Metro Paper Industries Inc. has pleaded guilty and has been fined $75,000 after a worker suffered hand injuries in a napkin-folding machine.

On September 15, 2013, the worker was conducting repairs on the machine located at the company’s plant at 111 Manville Road in Scarborough. At the time of the incident, Metro Paper was a mid-sized business that manufactured paper products for foodservice, janitorial and retail customers.

The worker was conducting repairs on the machine and testing it by looking at the sensing pressure and using one hand to check if the tension arm had any vibration or heat. While pulling the hand off the tension arm, the worker’s hand was caught at a pinch point on the driving belt system. The worker sustained a broken finger and lost part of another.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to provide the worker with information, instruction and supervision on how to safely perform maintenance and/or test the operation of a machine, contrary to Section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The company was fined $75,000 by Justice of the Peace David R. Keilty in Toronto court on August 20, 2015.

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:

Metro Paper Industries Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25(2)(a) which states,

“an employer shall,

(a) provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

Actually, section 25 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 was violated as well. It 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.”

So many things went wrong here and the worker, again, has suffered for it. Please read the OHSA and appropriate sector regulations before the work is to begin. Your workers will be glad that their health and safety is a top priority in the company.

By the way, the employer should have written a set of SOPs for this and had a toolbox meeting prior to the repairs being conducted.

Section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the OHSA was also violated. It states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

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

I believe Metro Paper Industries got off lucky!

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

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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