NEWMARKET, Ontario – Best Way Stone Limited, based in Woodbridge, Ontario,pleased guilty and was fined $55,000 in provincial court after an employee was critically injured in a conveyor accident.
On January 26, 2018, a worker at Best Way Stone’s facility on Weston Road in Woodbridge had the task of getting the facility’s block making line ready for production. The line is used in the manufacture of paving stones. It includes a Hess machine and a de-stacker, which pushes transfer boards carrying the formed paving stones through the line and into the machine.
The worker was operating the line from a control room and noticed that a transfer board had become jammed in the de-stacker. The worker entered the de-stacker area through a metal screen door and two sliding gates and pushed the stuck board, causing it to move into the machine.
At that point the chain drive, which was still operating, moved a stack of 16 backed-up transfer boards from the stack holder into the de-stacker area. The 16 backed-up transfer boards weighed about 1,600 pounds. The moving stack of boards struck the worker and pushed the worker into a lift table, resulting in critical injuries.
Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) provides that an employer shall ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the act and regulations are complied with at the workplace.
Section 24 of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments (Ontario Regulation 851) prescribes that “where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”
Best Way Stone failed to ensure that the exposed moving parts of the de-stacker and associated chain drives were equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevented access to the moving parts, contrary to section 24. This is an offence pursuant to section 66(1) of the OHSA.
The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on Best Way Stone as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.