Worker injured by rollers; MOL determines that machine was not guarded as required

Tuesday March 08, 2016
Written by Ontario Ministry of Labour
Mar. 8, 2016 - Bag to Earth Inc./Sac au Sol Inc., a company in the business of manufacturing paper packaging products, pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after a worker was injured by a paper-bag-making machine.

On December 10, 2013, a worker at the company’s workplace in Napanee, Ont., was working as a machine operator, replacing another worker on leave. The worker observed a build-up of glue on the roller assembly of the lamination section of the bag-making machine and was using a metal scraper and a rag to clear the build-up and was wearing cotton gloves at the time, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) investigation. While attempting to scrape off the build-up of glue from one of the rollers, one hand was caught and pulled into the in-running nip created by two rotating rollers on the machine, noted the investigation. The worker was able to activate the emergency pull cord located in the immediate area and stopped the machine, and was then able to pull the hand free, explained the MOL.

Emergency Services arrived at the workplace and transported the worker to the hospital. According to the ministry, the worker fully recovered and suffered no lasting impairment.

The MOL investigated and determined that the machine was not guarded as required to prevent worker access to the rollers and in-running nip hazards. This is contrary to the requirement in section 25 of Ontario’s Industrial Establishments Regulation.

Bag to Earth Inc./Sac au Sol Inc. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by law were carried out at a workplace, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and was fined $50,000.

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.

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