TORONTO — CRM of Canada Processing ULC has been fined $125,000 after a worker employed by a third-party trucking company was fatally injured at the company’s rubber recycling facility in Brantford, Ont. while removing a bin.
The company was convicted Aug. 16, 2022 by Justice of the Peace Eileen Walker following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Brantford.
The court found the Vancouver-based company failed to provide information and instruction to workers which is an offence under section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The incident occurred March 3, 2021. The employer breaks up used tires into small crumb pellets that can be more easily recycled into new product. During the process, a fibrous material is released as a byproduct which is collected and compacted into an industrial container and then trucked off the premises by a third-party trucking company.
The containers used are designed with clamping devices on each side to secure it to the compactor and the container becomes a compaction vessel for the movement and the forces generated by the ram.
A limit switch interlocked with the movement of the ram is located at the discharge end of the compactor, states a court bulletin, adding when correctly positioned and activated, this switch is in physical contact with the container and signals to the compacting ram that it can continue to pack the container because the container is in the correct and secured position. If the limit switch device is not activated or is not in contact with the container, the ram does not operate.
On the day of the incident, at about 1:40 p.m., a truck driver employed by the third-party trucking company arrived onsite for a container that was in the final stages of being filled. The driver backed the truck into position, entered the building, spoke briefly to the assistant compactor operator and left the building, the bulletin states.
The assistant compactor operator found the worker unresponsive and trapped outside between the container and the wall 10 minutes later but there were no eyewitnesses to the incident and it is not clear how the container became detached from the compactor.
The worker had suffered fatal injuries.
The investigation determined the limit switch was not appropriately activated or positioned to be able to detect the position of the container and that the operators of the compactor were not informed or instructed on how to correctly position and activate this limit switch, concluded the court bulletin.