Blog Post #246 – Jeld-Wen of Canada Ltd. Fined $50,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Goverment of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Jeld-Wen of Canada Ltd., a Toronto window and door manufacturer, was fined $50,000 on October 21, 2010, for a violation the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused an injury to a worker.

On June 3, 2008, at the company’s manufacturing facility in Vaughan, a worker was using a table saw to cut a piece of wood. The saw blade had a guard on it, but the saw would not make the required cut if the guard was left in place. A supervisor advised the worker to remove the guard to make the cut. The worker’s hand made contact with the unguarded blade while making the cut. The worker partially lost two fingers.

Jeld-Wen of Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the table saw was equipped with a guard or other device to prevent access to its blade.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Carol Seglins. 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:

Jeld-Wen of Canada Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of section 24 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 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.”

Can you believe a supervisor advising his/her employee to remove a safety guard just to make a cut? I am never at a loss for words when it comes to things like this. The supervisor should have been charged under section 27 of the OHSA as well. The ACT provides specific responsibilities and section 27 covers all those meant for supervisors and enforced as a duty on employers under section 25 and section 26. In other words, the fines could easily have been far more substantial than they were.

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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