OHS Canada Magazine

Critical injuries to worker result in $100,000 fine for Cambridge, Ont., company

Third conviction for Canadian General-Tower

A pool-liner and vinyl manufacturer in Cambridge, Ont., was fined $100,000 on Tuesday, following a 2018 incident that saw a worker incur critical injuries while cleaning a conveyor belt.

It is the third conviction under the provincial Occupational Health and Safety Act for Canadian General-Tower. The company pleaded guilty to the offence.

In addition to the fine, a victim fine surcharge of 25 per cent was imposed by Justice Michael Cuthbertson in Kitchener court.

On May 8, 2018, two workers were cleaning a section of a conveyor belt of a calender — a machine used in the production of rolled vinyl textiles.

The conveyor belt had been unlocked, re-oriented and energized to allow for cleaning, which the worker was doing from a ladder, according to a statement by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.


While cleaning the underside of the belt with gloves and a rag, the worker was pulled by the rotating belt into the idler roller and trapped.

Once freed by other workers, the worker was taken to hospital.

The investigation determined the employer failed to ensure that machinery was only cleaned when motion that may endanger a worker had stopped.


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1 Comment » for Critical injuries to worker result in $100,000 fine for Cambridge, Ont., company
  1. Clancy says:

    Whilst in Australia fines in OHS matters are, at least for Officers of Companies, not to be paid for them, there are easy ways around that. Jail and restriction on employment positions are more effective. If that stops people applying for, or taking up, responsibility or directorship it may be a good outcome. I am not a fan of jailing, though it may be a current solution, I don’t regard white collar or ‘corporate’ crime as any less deserving of punishment than any other person I’m more in favour of corrective demands and assimilation of proper conduct, however long that takes. Prosecuting listed organisations harms only shareholders who are comparatively irrelevant to organisational behaviour, irrespective of perceptions of AGM democracy. In regard to the particular incident in a very similar event some few years ago, a young chap cleaning a conveyor system in a chicken processing plant (Australian) even after a significant death through negligence of another processing works, was himself decapitated when cleaning under the machine. The lockout system has to be made impregnable and thorough in high-risk situations and in lesser risk also. OHS incident s rarely are singular or ‘spur of the moment’ , they tend to creep up through numbers of overlooked incidents and ‘near misses’.. The fines from courts do little to assist the injured or families of deceased, it is arguable there that say 75% should go to the victims. On the other side of the coin I recall when a teenager that in USA was a spate of people jamming their thumbs into spinning motor car engine cooling fans and collecting insurance. In Australia one particular ‘ethnic’ group’ I investigated was successfully claiming for organised ‘rear end shunting’ of their vehicles and then claiming for ‘whiplash’. These ae only tow of a vast range of situations but it draws me to the conclusion that correction-assimilation training financed by the errant organisations or when on high-end salary, errant persons, would be better productive. In the case of officers and Directors I think the law would serve us better were their moving of assets into wife or some other person’s care be disallowed. In other words, a Director could not hide behind bankruptcy (Alan Bond or example) when his or her assets have been shifted out of their name and into some presently protected guardianship.

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