Rex Pak fined $60K after worker receives permanent injury at manufacturing facility
February 1, 2019 – Rex Pak Ltd, a food blending and packaging co-manufacturer, has been fined $60,000 by the Ontario Ministry of Labour after one of the Rex Pak's workers received a permanent injury while assessing a sugar-filling line at the company's industrial facility in Scarborough.
Denise Sabatini of Markham, a director/officer of Rex Pak, was also fined $3,500 by Justice of the Peace Paula Hy Phui Liu in Toronto court.
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.
The accident occured on February 24, 2017. According to the Ministry of Labour's investigation, Rex Pak had installed temporary perimeter fencing around the sugar-filling line as an interim measure while a long-term guarding solution was being designed and manufactured by a third-party engineering company.
The worker did not turn off the agitator that was attached to the hopper for the sugar-filling line before moving the temporary perimeter fence.
The worker placed a hand on a moving drive belt which drew the hand into a pinch point between the drive belt and the agitator pulley and caused the injury.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act provides that an employer shall ensure that measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in a workplace, and in the Industrial Establishments Regulation states that any machine that has a nip hazard that could endanger the safety of the worker must be equipped with a guard that prevents access to the pinch point.
According to the ministry's report, Rex Pak failed to adequately ensure that measures and procedures were taken to avoid an in-running nip hazard for the worker in accordance with the act and regulation.
Sabatini was charged with the act with failing as a director/officer of the company to take reasonable care between December 2016 and February 24, 2017 to ensure that Rex Pak complied with the regulation.
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