Gates Canada Inc. fined $55K after worker injured

An Ontario Justice of the Peace has fined a Hamilton, Ont.-based company $55,000 after a conveyor accident that left one of its workers severely injured.

Gates Canada Inc., an Alberta automotive part manufacturer, was fined for a violation of the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act.
On April 12, 2010, at the company's workplace in Hamilton, workers were clearing pallets that had jammed on an assembly line. One worker had a hand on the conveyor of a machine when part of the machine cycled down, crushing the worker's hand and causing muscle damage.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that even though the power to that part of the assembly line had been disconnected, there was still residual energy in one of the machine's cylinders, causing it to cycle.

Gates Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the machine was blocked to prevent movement while it was being maintained.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Hugh Brown. 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.