Blog Post #987 – Picton Cement Producer Fined $50,000 After Worker Injured by Machine

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Essroc Canada Inc. pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after a worker was critically injured by a machine.

On April 29, 2016, a worker was performing regular duties at the workplace located at 1370 Highway 49 in Picton; the company is a cement producer. The worker went to a mill area to insert a heat blank into an inlet duct, a routinely-performed task. The inlet duct is positioned in close proximity to a dust collector screw conveyor.

While inserting the heat blank, the worker placed one leg on top of the screw conveyor. There is a rotating shaft that has a metal flag on it that passes a motion sensor; this flag is approximately 6 inches long. The worker’s pant leg got caught on the rotating flag which pulled the worker’s foot and leg into the area.

The screw conveyor was shut down and responders were sent to the worker’s aid. The worker sustained multiple injuries to the foot and leg that required hospitalization.

The Ministry of Labour’s investigation found that the screw area was not accessible since it was guarded. However, the rotating shaft with the metal flag was not guarded to prevent access to the moving part.

Accordingly, Essroc failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by subsection 24 of Regulation 851 were carried out. This constituted a breach of the OHSA.

Justice of the Peace Ernie Parsons sentenced the company to a $50,000 fine in Picton court on May 5, 2017. The court also 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:

Essroc was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 24 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 prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”

Essroc 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.”

‘Machine Guarding’ is an important part of the law that there is an entire section in the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, and it covers all aspects of machine guarding to protect workers. Every employer MUST read these important sections and make them happen in their facility. If a machine is to be built and designed then engineering MUST ensure to recognize all contact points and include some sort of guard to protect their workers. Fixed guards and moveable guards are only 2 ways to guard against physical contact.

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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