Company fined $100,000 following injury to young worker

A Calgary-based company pleaded guilty and has been fined $100,000 after a young worker suffered permanent injuries.

The company, Tervita Corporation, was the constructor of a City of Barrie project to reclaim landfill at a site located at 272 Ferndale Drive North in Barrie.

On March 5th, 2015, a young worker (a person under the age of 25) employed by Tervita was operating a city-supplied trommel machine in the landfill. The machine is used to screen and separate material.

The worker was using a tool known as a “pick” to clear the trommel when it filled up with material being screened. While performing this task, the worker was pulled into an exposed pinch point on the machine created by the drive wheels.

The worker was able to get free but suffered injury that required medical attention.

Section 109 of Ontario Regulation 213/91 – the Construction Projects Regulation – states that every gear, pulley, belt, chain, shaft, flywheel, saw and other mechanically-operated part of a machine to which a worker has access shall be guarded or fenced so that it will not endanger a worker. This was also a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The company pleaded guilty and was fined $100,000 by Justice of the Peace Cheryl B. McLean in provincial court in Barrie on November 1, 2016.

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.

New and young workers in Ontario are more likely than older and more experienced workers to be injured on the job, especially during their first three months on the job.

The case was heard by Justice of the Peace Cheryl B. McLean in the Ontario Court of Justice/Provincial Offences Court at 45 Cedar Pointe Drive in Barrie, Ontario

Barrie manufacturer fined $40,000 after worker was caught in a machine

Albarrie Canada Ltd., a company that manufactures industrial-use fabrics, pleaded guilty and was fined $40,000 after a worker was caught in a carding machine and suffered injuries.

On June 24, 2014, a worker who had been with the company for less than three months was assigned to work on a carding machine at the company’s facility at 85 Morrow Road in Barrie. The worker noticed that fibre was accumulating on the materials being processed on the machine – a problem usually a result of a vacuum head being clogged with fibre. To clear the vacuum head, the worker reached in under the table at the face of the carding machine. The worker was pulled into the machine, suffering injury and requiring municipal fire services personnel to extract the worker, as well as surgery for the injury.

The Ministry of Labour investigation found that there was no guard or other device that prevented access to the carding machine’s pinch point. This was against the requirements of Ontario Regulation 851 – the Industrial Establishments Regulation – that require a guard or other device to prevent access to a pinch point and nip hazards that may endanger the safety of any worker.

Albarrie Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty on August 23 was fined $40,000 in Barrie court by Justice of the Peace Ann C. Forfar on October 4, 2016.

New workers of any age who are on the job for less than six months, or who are assigned to a new job, are significantly more likely to be injured on the job than more experienced workers.