There were no guards or other devices in place to prevent access by a worker to the hazardous moving parts of the strapping machine
Toronto, Ont.-based Norbord Inc. – an international company that produces wood-based products – pleaded guilty and was fined $65,000 as one of its workers was injured after a strapping machine activated unexpectedly at a mill it operates.
The incident took place at 181 Nighswander Road in Berwick, Ont. on Oct. 23, 2018, when the strapping machine was running in automatic mode and then suddenly stopped after moving an Oriented Strand Board (OSB) bundle into position.
The strapping machine is designed to automatically apply strapping to bundles of newly produced OSB before their shipment.
A worker approached the front of the machine to investigate and troubleshoot the problem. The worker discovered that an edge protector – a wood packing material automatically put in place to protect against damage – had fallen and was preventing the movement of the flop gate/actuator.
The worker bent over to pick up the edge protector from where it had fallen. As soon as the edge protector was removed, the flop gate/actuator moved, which caused the PLC to receive the signal to proceed with the strapping operation. The platen lowered and the worker was caught between the bundle and the platen, suffering an injury.
After an investigation, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development found “that there were no guards or other devices in place to prevent access by a worker to the hazardous moving parts of the strapping machine. This was contrary to the safety measures in section 24 of Ontario Regulation 851 (the Regulation for Industrial Establishments) and to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.”
The provincial offences court in Fort Frances also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge against Norbord as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
Previously, Rafat General Contracting Inc. was fined $50,000 plus a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge after one of its workers was injured while doing work in an existing vacant building.
Also, Lorik Tool & Automation Inc. was fined $50,000 plus a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge after two of its workers were injured when a heavy electrical panel fell over while being moved.