Blog Post #862 – Paper Packaging Company Fined $50,000 After Worker Injured by Rollers

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Bag to Earth Inc./Sac au Sol Inc., a company in the business of manufacturing paper packaging products, pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after a worker was injured by a paper-bag-making machine.

On December 10, 2013, a worker at the company’s workplace on Richmond Boulevard in Napanee was working as a machine operator, replacing another worker on leave. The worker observed a build-up of glue on the roller assembly of the lamination section of the bag-making machine. The worker was using a metal scraper and a rag to clear the build-up and was wearing cotton gloves at the time. While attempting to scrape off the build-up of glue from one of the rollers, one hand was caught and pulled into the in-running nip created by two rotating rollers on the machine. The worker was able to activate the emergency pull cord located in the immediate area and stopped the machine. The worker was then able to pull the hand free.

Emergency Services arrived at the workplace and transported the worker to the hospital.

The worker fully recovered and suffered no lasting impairment.

Bag to Earth Inc./Sac au Sol Inc. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by law were carried out at a workplace, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Donna I. Doelman on March 2, 2016.

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:

Bag to Earth Inc./Sac au Sol Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ Regulation 851, section 25 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.”

Bag to Earth Inc./Sac au Sol Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1 (c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

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

Why was a hazard assessment not conducted prior to the work being done?

Why was there not a properly engineered guard system in place?

Why were there not a set of procedures in place to provide the necessary information for the worker as laid out in section 25, subsection 2(a) of the OHSA?

Why was the supervisor not competent to supervise as laid out in section 25, subsection 2(c) of the OHSA?

All these questions, and more, need to be asked and answered before any work is to be done. The workforce deserves a safe work environment as well as a well-informed management team.

Hopefully, this employer has learned from the mistakes and have implemented safe work procedures. The Ministry of Labour (MOL) would not leave unless this was accomplished.

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’, ‘Lockout and Tagout’ 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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