Blog Post #924 – Fall Through an Opening Results in $50,000 Fine in Guelph

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Nartech Metal Products Inc., a Windsor-based automotive parts manufacturer with a plant in Guelph, pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after a worker fell through an open scrap chute and suffered injuries as a result.

On March 27, 2015, a young worker was assisting another worker with changing a die on a mechanical press machine that is used to shape metal. While unbolting the top portion of the die, the young worker stepped into an open scrap chute and fell about 20 feet onto a scrap conveyor. The worker suffered a broken bone as a result of the fall.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the press machine has six scrap chutes, which are flush with the floor. When the press was in run mode, the scrap chutes at the press were guarded by interlocking doors which, if opened, would stop the press. However, when the press was shut down for repair work or die changes, the scrap chutes were not closed or guarded. There was no signage to warn workers of the hazards of the open scrap chutes, and workers had not been trained or instructed to close the chutes when working on the press.

The sentence was imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Cuthbertson in Guelph court on October 7, 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:

Nartech Metal Products Inc. was found guilty of a violation of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 15, subsection (a) which states,

“A cover on an opening in a floor, roof or other surface shall be,

  • secured in place.”

Nartech Metal Products was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 66, subsection (1) which states,

“Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with,

(a) a provision of this Act or the regulations;

(b) an order or requirement of an inspector or a Director; or

(c) an order of the Minister,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than twelve months, or to both.”

An finally, Nartech was found guilty of a contravention of the 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.”

I wonder if this company was large enough to have a H&S Committee and, if so, was it properly trained and given the authority to be the safety watchdog at the facility? Two many questions and not many answers.

A company such as this needs to hire an outside safety company to introduce them to:

  • Health and safety law,
  • Encourage training in all types of work environments,
  • Complete JHAs, (Job Hazard Analysis or Assessment),
  • Develop health and safety policies and procedures, and
  • Meet all safety standards as required in the OHSA and sector regulations.

It is just that simple.

HRS Group Inc. stands ready to help your organization develop a H&S program that meets all the regulatory requirements.

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’, ‘Fall Protection’ 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.

2 thoughts on “Blog Post #924 – Fall Through an Opening Results in $50,000 Fine in Guelph”

Leave a Comment