Machine was not equipped with a guard that prevented access to the pinch point
Select Food Products was fined $50,000 after one of its workers was injured after getting in contact with a labeler machine.
After a guilty plea, the company was also charged a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge which will be credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
The charge root from an April 17, 2019 incident, when a linesperson employed by the company was operating a labeler machine on a salad dressing line. The worker was trying to remove a label that was stuck on a gluing pallet (also referred to as a labeler plate), inside the machine.
The labeler machine has hinged access doors equipped with interlocking devices which are designed to stop the motion of the machine when the doors are opened. The machine was equipped with a safety bypass switch that allowed the interlocking devices for the hinged access doors to be bypassed, allowing worker access to hazardous moving parts and pinch points such as those created by the motion of the gluing pallets and the glue roller.
Using the safety bypass switch in the ‘safety off’ position, the worker opened the middle hinged access door and reached in to remove a label that was jammed on the gluing pallet by the back label applicator. This resulted in pinching between a gluing pallet and the glue roller, and the worker was injured.
After investigation, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development found that the labeler machine was not equipped with a guard that prevented access to the pinch point.
This is contrary to section 25 of Ontario Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation) which states that “an in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point.”
“Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act states that an employer shall ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace,” according to the Ontario government.
Recently, Cogent Power Inc. was fined $90,000 after one of its workers was caught in moving machinery which had not been equipped with a guard or other device to prevent access to a pinch point, causing injury.
Also, Norbord Inc. was fined $65,000 as one of its workers was injured after a strapping machine activated unexpectedly at a mill it operates.