Blog Post #232 – Gantrex Canada Inc. Fined $50,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Gantrex Canada Inc., a heavy-duty crane product manufacturer, was fined $50,000 on September 7, 2010, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused an injury to a young worker.

On September 19, 2008, at the company’s Ajax manufacturing plant, a young worker was cutting strips of rubber using a shear machine. The machine jammed. The worker reached into the unguarded back of the machine to clear the jam. The shear activated and it amputated parts of the worker’s thumb and finger.

Gantrex Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the shear machine was guarded to prevent the worker from accessing its blade.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Ronald Prestage. 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:

Gantrex Canada Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 25 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 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.”

Gantrex Canada Inc. Obviously does not understand nip point hazards and the finer points of machine guarding. How can this be in this day and age? Every table saw sold at Home Depot comes with an E-Stop, and all power tools, or at least the majority, come with some type of safety guarding and the instructions on how to use them.

One hears about machine guarding being removed and accidents happening and we also hear about older machines with little or no guarding at all. The standard has been set and the employer MUST ensure the safety of the worker in any work endeavour that arises. Gantrex Canada Inc. never questioned the lack of guarding for this machine and it cost them, and their employee, greatly.

I would suggest that Gantrex Canada Inc. take a thorough safety course in ‘Machine Guarding’. HRS Group Inc. stands ready to help anyone in need of training in a specific safety area, including ‘Machine Guarding’.

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 ‘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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