Machine & Operator Safety
Operations & Management
Worker injured by conveyor; company fined $60K
February 9, 2016 by Ontario Ministry of Labour
Feb. 9, 2016 – Colacem Canada Inc., which operates a cement plant in Wendover, Ont., pleaded guilty and has been fined $60,000 after a worker was injured by a conveyor.
The incident occurred on December 18, 2014, at the company’s quarry. The previous month the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) was notified that a mobile crushing plant was being installed and operated for 30 days at the Wendover plant, which is fed supplies from multiple quarries in the province. A crew of three workers was on site to perform this work, according to the MOL.
Part of this mobile crushing plant included a long conveyor installed at an incline on a built-up pad or base of earth. Due to weather and rain, material was building up on various belts and rollers, causing alignment issues, notes the investigation, adding that an entanglement hazard existed where the rotating roller came into contact with the conveyor belt.
The MOL says that on the date of the incident, one of the workers employed by the company was attempting to remove mud from a conveyor roller. According to the investigation, the worker noticed the roller on this conveyor had two to three inches of mud building up and wanted to remove the material before shutting down the equipment for the day, knowing it would freeze up overnight and be much more difficult to remove the following day. The worker knocked mud off the roller with a hammer while the conveyor was in operation, says the MOL.
While the worker was performing that task, the hammer sunk into the mud and was pulled around the roller and the worker was pulled along with it, notes the investigation, adding that a co-worker turned off the conveyor and emergency assistance was called.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers are required to protect workers by ensuring the prescribed safety requirements in the act and in the Mining and Mining Plants Regulation (Regulation 854/90) are followed. One requirement of the regulation states that a machine that has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any person shall be fenced or guarded unless its position, construction or attachments provides equivalent protection.
Colacem Canada pleaded guilty to failing to ensure a guard or fence was in place to protect a worker from an exposed moving part as required by the regulation.
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.