A Brampton company is facing a $65,000 fine in connection with a serious workplace accident.
The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development recently announced that Imprimeries Transcontinental 2005 S.E.N.C., a company located on East Drive that provides commercial printing services, was convicted of failing to provide “information, instruction, and supervision” to a worker who was pulled into machinery that should have been locked out.
The Ministry said the worker sustained “critical injuries” from a moving chain on the draft shaft of a printing press. The incident occurred on Aug. 28, 2018 and the company was convicted on Sept. 21, 2020.
According to a news release, the printing press involved in the incident uses a drive mechanism to move flyers along a conveyor belt as part of the printing process While operating the press, one worker noticed that the flyers were not coming out in an orderly manner and tried to troubleshoot the problem by turning off the power to the drive shaft and removing a fixed guard that was situated over the area where the chain met the drive shaft.
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The Ministry says the worker did not ‘lock-out’ the machine, a process where the controls for powering the drive shaft are locked and all energy is dispersed to prevent any inadvertent starting of the drive shaft. The report says the worker determined that maintenance personnel were required to address the problem with the drive shaft and advised the other workers to not touch the press and to wait for maintenance to come and fix the problem. Despite the worker’s direction, another worker came to the area and decided to troubleshoot the problem by trying to clean the chain. The drive shaft did not start so the worker proceeded to clean the chain further, but did not turn off the power prior to doing so.
The drive shaft started suddenly and the worker was injured, the Minitry says.
The then-Ministry of Labour investigated the incident and determined that the injured worker had not been adequately trained and that workers were not provided with locks to ensure controls are locked out, as only maintenance personnel were provided with locks.
The investigation further found that press workers did, as a common aspect of their work, troubleshoot problems with the printing presses without locking out the controls and that it was left to their discretion whether to attempt to troubleshoot or call maintenance.
“Had the drive shaft been locked out by the first worker or anyone else, with the power dispersed and the controls locked to prevent starting, the injured worker would not have been able to start the drive shaft,” the report reads.
Following a guilty plea, the company was fined $60,000 in provincial offences court in Brampton by Justice of the Peace Richard Quon.
The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act.