Blog Post #185 – Canadian BBR Inc. Fined $55,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Canadian BBR Inc. was fined $55,000 on April 13, 2010, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused an injury to a worker.

On August 1, 2008, the company had been subcontracted to work on a new bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek in Oakville. This was part of a project to reconstruct Dundas St. W. between Neyagawa Blvd. and Proudfoot Trail. A worker was using a machine to pull a wire through a duct when the worker’s fingers got caught in the machine’s pulley system. Several of the worker’s fingers were partially crushed.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that there were no guards on the machine to prevent a worker’s fingers from getting caught.

Canadian BBR Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the pulleys on the machine were guarded and/or fenced.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Barry Quinn. 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:

Canadian BBR Inc., was found guilty of a contravention of section 109 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulations, 213/91 which states,

“Every gear, pulley, belt, chain, shaft, flywheel, saw and other mechanically operated part of a machine to which a worker has access shall be guarded or fenced so that it will not endanger a worker.”

‘Machine Guarding’ once again! How many of the blogs already written for this site concerned ‘Machine Guarding’? Fifteen or twenty? You would think that an employer would see the fault right in front of them and put corrective action in.

Here we have an open part to as machine where moving parts could come in contact with a worker. I just cannot believe it! Can’t anyone see the hazard right in front of them? Can’t corrective action be part of the day-to-day issues for the employer? Did they have an active JHSC? If so, why did they not recognize this hazard and bring it to the attention of the employer?

All these questions ran through my head when I read this report. It happens so often but I always seem shocked by the accident. Where was the supervisor?

In my opinion, Canadian BBR Inc. got off lucky. There were sections of the ACT not used that may have increased the fines dramatically. ‘Machine Guarding’ always needs to be considered. I recently was involved with a forklift issue where a purchase had the engine cover plates as an option instead of a standard. IN ONTARIO!!! The operator would have had his/her hands only 12 inches for belts and pulleys. The manufacturer was called and new plates ordered. I hope the company put them on ‘Free of Charge’ or maybe a call to the MOL informing them about a manufacturer not building to the ACT and the appropriate regulations would be in order.

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.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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