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Chemical plant worker’s permanent injury results in $100,000 fine

Employee fell into a blow-moulding machine while checking for an exhaust blockage.


BURLINGTON, Ont. — A company that produces, packages and distributes chemical products in Milton, Ont. has been fined $100,000 as a result of a worker sustaining a permanent injury from a bottle-making machine.

Recochem Inc. entered a guilty plea at a provincial court in Burlington, Ont. to a charge under the Industrial Establishments Regulation of failing to ensure guarding devices were in place on a machine with exposed moving parts.

The company manufactures windshield washer fluid, automotive antifreeze, diesel exhaust fluid and a variety of household solvents and cleaners.

On Nov. 17, 2017, a worker was operating a plastic blow-moulding machine that manufactures 10-litre plastic bottles used for various liquid products.

Having been advised of issues concerning the quality of the bottles being produced, the worker opened a steel-framed door while the machine was operating and climbed to the top of the machine to determine if there was a blockage in the exhaust pipe. The worker tripped, fell and was caught in an area where sharp moving parts were opening and closing, sustaining a critical and permanent injury.

Investigation by the Ministry of Labour revealed that there were no guards or other devices preventing access to the area of the machine where the injury occurred. In addition, the door where the worker entered the machine was not locked or equipped with an interlock.

Recochem was ordered to guard the machinery and the company complied by installing an e-stop with additional guarding installed at the machine’s exterior.

In addition to the fine, the court also imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge.

 

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