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Paper manufacturer fined for workplace injury


October 20, 2014
By Ontario Ministry of Labour

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Oct. 20, 2014 – Interlake Acquisition Corporation Ltd., a producer of paper products, has pleaded guilty and has been fined $65,000 after a worker suffered injuries after being pulled against moving machinery.

On June 26, 2013, a worker was using a paper-making machine that produces paper products at the company’s facility in St. Catharines, Ont. The machine winds the finished products onto large rolls in the reel section of the production line. The worker began using an air hose to clean debris from the machine, and came closer than normal to the machine’s rotating core drive shaft. The air hose nozzle contacted the rotating shaft and became entangled on it, and the worker was pulled against the end of the paper roll and was injured as the roll continued to turn. The worker sustained injuries that included fractured bones and a soft tissue injury.

An investigation of the incident by the Ministry of Labour concluded that the company committed the offence of failing as an employer to ensure that Section 24 of Regulation 851 (known as the Industrial Establishments Regulation) was carried out in the workplace. Section 24 requires that, where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or mover or equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part. The employer failed to ensure that the rotating core shaft at the reel section of the machine was guarded by a guard or other device as prescribed.                           
                                                            
Interlake Acquisition Corporation Limited pleaded guilty and was fined $65,000 by Justice of the Peace Brett A. Kelly in St. Catharines court on October 10. 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.