Woodstock manufacturing firm fined $120K for worker injury

Woodstock, ON — Rieter Automotive Mastico Ltd. was fined $120,000 on May 11, 2011, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was seriously injured, according to a report from the Ministry of Labour.
On April 20, 2010, a worker at the Rieter Automotive Mastico Ltd. manufacturing plant at 1451 Bell Mill Road in Tillsonburg attempted to clear a clog in a picker, a machine with a large spiked roller used to mulch materials. The worker locked out the energy source of the machine before opening an access window to reach the clog. However, the roller was still in motion, requiring several minutes to slow down even after the power was turned off. The worker's hand was caught by the roller and drawn into the machine, causing serious injuries.

Rieter Automotive Mastico Ltd. pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to ensure that the rotating roller on the picker was cleaned or adjusted only when motion that may endanger a worker had been stopped.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Frank McMahon. 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.