Blog Post #79 – Sherwin-Williams Canada Inc. Fined $60,000 After Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’

Sherwin-Williams Canada Inc. a company that manufactures painting products, was fined $60,000 on May 15, 2009 for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), after a worker was injured.

On December 6, 2007, a worker at Sherwin-Williams’ Grimsby plant at 13 Iroquois Trail, had a hand caught in the pinch point between two rolls of a paint extruder machine while attempting to clean off some paint stuck to the rolls. The worker’s hand and forearm were drawn into the machine. As a result, the worker suffered serious injuries to the forearm.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the pinch point of the rolls was not properly guarded because there was a 20 by 23 centimetre (9″ x 8″) hole in the centre of the grate which should have guarded the pinch point of the machine. The worker put a hand through this hole when trying to clean the rolls.

Sherwin-Williams Canada Inc. was found guilty under the OHSA of failing to ensure that the in-running nip hazard on the roller machine was equipped with and guarded by a device to prevent access to the pinch point.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace D. J. Cowan. In addition to the fine, the Court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, 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:

Sherwin-Williams Canada Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 25 of the ‘Industrial’ sector 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.”

Sherwin-Williams Canada Inc. was also in contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety ACT, (OHSA) section 25, 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

Again, we see another company not understanding their responsibilities under the ACT. The Act is the LAW, the regulations govern how the law is to be carried out. (sector specific)

In this case, the Law specified that an employer must be aware of the regulations that apply to their workplace and to ensure that they are followed to the letter. Here the company did not understand ‘Machine Guarding’.

The medical treatment may be lengthy in duration or it may be short term. In any case, it should not have happened at all and the employee is paying for it.

Sherwin-Williams Canada Inc. should have someone on staff that has taken Basic Certification Level 1 and a recommended awareness course in ‘Machine Guarding’ wouldn’t hurt either.

HRS Group Inc. provides Machine Guarding training on a regular basis. Check our schedule for the next available course. We also cater to our customers and, with 4 trainers on staff, we can provide training whenever and wherever needed.

As a reminder, “The more you know about the OHSA the safer your employees will be.”

In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

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