Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
BFG Canada Ltd., a cracker manufacturer, pleaded guilty and was fined $110,000 after a worker suffered permanent injuries when a hand was pulled into machinery.
The incident occurred on December 5, 2014 at the company’s manufacturing facility at 1760 Strasburg Road in Kitchener, Ontario.
Part of the company’s cracker manufacturing facility consisted of an incline conveyor system used to cool crackers and transport them through the processing line. The incline conveyor system was driven by a 6- to 7-foot-wide powered roller that rotated counter-clockwise, pulling the conveyor belt forward. One centimetre from the powered roller was an additional roller rotating clockwise to guide the belt. This combination of rollers created a pinch point.
On the day of the incident, the powered roller was slipping and therefore unable to move the conveyor belt forward. A worker was instructed by a BFG lead hand to troubleshoot and repair this problem.
While the machine was still running, the injured worker noticed a piece of grip tape was sticking out from the edge of the powered roller, less than 12 inches from the pinch point, and grabbed the grip tape to tear it off the roller. In doing so a hand was pulled into the pinch point.
The injured worker managed to switch off the machine and was freed about 40 minutes later by emergency personnel who transported the worker to hospital.
The worker sustained serious injuries and suffers permanent restrictions.
BFG Canada Ltd. was fined $110,000 in Kitchener court by Justice of the Peace Adriana Magoulas on June 13, 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
BFG Canada Ltd. Was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, 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.”
BFG Canada Ltd. 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 completed? Why was the equipment not designed with machine guarding in mind? Why was the supervisor not aware of the hazards as befitting a “Competent” supervisor?
Yes, too many questions and not enough answers. Workers get killed this way so please ensure that hazard and risk assessments are completed by “competent” personnel.
I feel the fine was in line with the concern and I believe this company has a much better handle on the design of their machinery with an emphasis on Guarding!
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.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.