Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited, a security printing company, was fined $75,000 on March 25, 2010, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused an injury to a worker.
On June 19, 2008, workers at the company’s plant in Ottawa were restarting a press machine. The machine has two hydraulically powered towers that come together to close the press. To restart the press, buttons on the inside of the towers had to be reset. A worker at the bottom of the towers opened the press slightly to get to the buttons. A second worker accessed the top of the towers by a catwalk to press one of the buttons. At the same time, a third worker at ground level pressed another button. This caused the press to start. The towers closed on the second worker’s hand, crushing fingers and fracturing the wrist.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the press was equipped with a start-up warning device. However this device did not sound when the press closed after being opened only a few inches.
Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the press was equipped with an automatic start-up warning device that sounded when the press was being closed from all positions.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Brian Mackey. 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:
Canadian Bank Note Company, Ltd., was found guilty of a contravention of section 33 of the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,
“Portions of conveyors or other moving machinery that are not visible from the control station and where starting up may endanger any worker, shall be equipped with automatic start-up warning devices.”
This is the first time I was made aware of this obscure section of the ‘Industrial’ regulation. The research shows me, time and time again, that there are almost as many sections of ACT and regulations as there are accidents/incidents. If one doesn’t exist at present to cover a particular event it will probably be included in the future.
The JHSC should have reviewed the machine and attempted to consider the chance for this possible accident to have happened. The better trained, and the better one knows the ACT and the appropriate regulations, the safer the workplace will be. Now, I am not saying that any blame should be aimed at the JHSC. Their job is to assist the employer with health and safety issues in the company and make recommendations for possible corrective action. At the end of the day, the employer is responsible for all safety in the workplace and the employer MUST adhere to all aspects and sections of the ACT and its regulations or face the consequences.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need including ‘Machine Guarding’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.