NEWMARKET, ONT. — A Woodbridge, Ont. firm that manufactures concrete paving and patio products has been convicted in a Newmarket, Ont. provincial court after it was found responsible for critical injuries suffered by a worker at its plant in January 2018.
Best Way Stone Limited operates a plant at 8821 Weston Rd. in Woodbridge. A Ministry of Labour release explained that on Jan. 26, 2018, a worker on site had the task of getting the facility’s production line ready for operation. The HESS line, as the system is known, is used in the manufacture of paving stones and include a HESS machine and a de-stacker, which pushes transfer boards carrying formed paving stones through the line and into the HESS machine.
The worker was operating the HESS line from a control room and in the course of work 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 HESS 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) requires 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 device shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard that prevents access to the moving part.
The court found 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.
Following a guilty plea, Best Way Stone Limited was convicted and fined $55,000.