Blog Post #179 – Ornamental Mouldings Company Fined $55,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Ornamental Mouldings Company, a manufacturer of wooden mouldings, pleaded guilty and was fined $55,000 on December 14, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.

On October 22, 2008, a worker was using a moulder machine at the company’s Waterloo facility. The moulder had moving rollers and cutter heads to pass the wood through the machine and make the desired cuts. In order to clean excess sawdust out of the machine, the worker stopped the rollers but not the cutter heads. The worker was using a rag to clean out the sawdust when the rag was pulled into a cutter head along with the worker’s fingers. Two fingers were instantly amputated.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found there was no adequate guard to prevent the worker from touching the cutter head on the moulder machine.

Ornamental Mouldings Company pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that the cutter heads of the moulder machine were guarded by a guard or other device to prevent access to moving parts.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Sharon Woodworth. In addition to the fine, 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:

Ornamental Mouldings Company 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 no 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.”

No one would deliberately take off the guard on a tool they might have at home. A table saw, a band saw, a grinder, all come with protection for the person using it. Why would an employer not understand that all employees working for them deserve the same type of consideration? Geez, I don’t know, “We can’t afford to cover every type of contingency in our business.” A company executive may head the company in this direction. The MOL will do everything it can to direct the employer to change course and make worker safety the top priority or fine them accordingly.

Here we find that Ornamental Mouldings Company did not deem guards a necessary add-on cost. I bet the appropriate machine safety guards would not have cost the $55,000 + the 25% surcharge ($13,750)

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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