Recycling plant worker injured; MOL determines machine was not guarded as required

Monday July 24, 2017
Written by Ontario Ministry of Labour
Jul. 24, 2017 - The recycling company that operates glass recycling facilities for Ontario’s municipal blue-box collection, deposit return program and the Beer Store, pleaded guilty and has been fined $65,000 after a worker suffered a permanent injury caused by running machinery.

NexCycle Industries Ltd. is a corporation with a workplace located in Brampton. At this industrial establishment, workers recycle beer bottles and beer cans. The company also uses beer cases to create bales of cardboard for recycling.

On November 3, 2015, a worker was attempting to clear a cardboard jam in a cardboard baler. A baler is a machine used to compress and bundle (or bale) recyclable materials such as cardboard, paper, plastics and metal. The materials are made into dense and consistently shaped bales for easy storage and transport.

Before attempting to clear the jam, the worker did not lock out the machine. The worker put one hand into the machine. The pinch point was not physically guarded, and the worker’s wrist became caught behind the ram of the machine, causing a permanent injury.

Section 24 of Regulation 851 — the Industrial Establishments Regulation — states that a machine with an exposed moving part that could endanger a worker must be guarded to prevent access to the moving part. The operator side of the baler was not properly guarded, which allowed access to the moving ram. This was also an offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Justice of the Peace Darlene Florence imposed a fine of $65,000 in Brampton court on July 11, 2017.

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.

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