Employer fined $65,000, supervisor $3,000, after worker hurt at Ontario pool noodle factory
Health & Safety Fines ontario Supervisor
A plastics manufacturer in Guelph, Ont., has been fined $65,000 after a worker was injured while attempting to clear a jam on a production line. And the worker’s supervisor was also fined $3,000 personally by the court.
On March 17, 2022, workers at the Alcot Plastic’s production facility were stationed at a production line making pool noodles.
A cutter machine at the end of the line was used to cut the pool noodles to the right length before workers packed them into boxes. The noodles frequently became jammed in the cutter and needed to be removed.
The procedure to remove jams usually involved Martin Alac, as the supervisor, entering the area between the cutter machine and the previous machine to cut the noodle and remove the jammed product from the cutter. This was done while the machines were still running.
When the machine jammed, a different worker entered the area between the machines and lifted a hinged cover that was over the entrance to the cutter. The cutter was equipped with a device intended to stop the machine if the cover was lifted; however, it was not operational.
After lifting the cover, the worker reached into the still energized and running cutter machine and was injured.
By failing to ensure that a machine was guarded to prevent access to a pinch point, contrary to section 25 of Ontario Regulation 851, Alcot Plastics Ltd. and Alac violated section 25(1)(c) and section 27(1)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, respectively.
Following a guilty plea, Alcot Plastics Ltd. was fined $65,000 and Alac was fined $3,000.
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.