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Bottlemaker fined $100K for permanent injury to worker

Worker’s hand was crushed, burned in machine
| www.cos-mag.com
clear bottles manufacturing

A bottle-manufacturing company has pleaded guilty and has been fined $100,000 after a worker suffered a permanent injury.

The company, O-I Canada Corporation, operates a glass manufacturing facility located in Brampton, Ont.

On Feb. 27, 2016, a worker was working at the industrial site in the bottle forming department with a second worker, a machine operator. They were working on a machine known as the individual section (IS) bottle making machine. 

An IS machine is made up of individual but identical sections placed side by side; each section can be started or stopped independently of the others. This machine is capable of producing 100 bottles per minute by forming molten "gobs" of glass at 1,200 C.

The worker and the machine operator were jointly performing a standard operating procedure which included inspecting bottles and changing all neck rings and plungers. Toward the completion of the task, the worker was removing rings from the front of the machine and lost sight of one of the rings.

The worker asked the machine operator, who was working at the back of the machine, to close the mould. With the mould closed, the worker could reach in and retrieve the ring. While the worker was reaching in, the mould moved from the closed position to the open position. When the mould opened, this pinched the worker's hand between the mould and a shaft for a few minutes, until a co-worker used a switch to close the mould again. When the mould closed, the worker was able to remove the hand but suffered critical crush and burn injuries that required surgery and resulted in permanent injury.

An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation followed. It was found that the defendant failed to ensure that control switches or other control mechanisms were locked out and failed to ensure that other effective precautions were taken to prevent the starting of mould-opening motion that could endanger a worker. 

The defendant failed to ensure compliance with section 76 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Section 76 of the regulation requires that where the starting of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing may endanger the safety of a worker, control switches or other control mechanisms shall be locked out and other effective precautions necessary to prevent any starting shall be taken.

As such, O-I Canada Corporation failed as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedure prescribed by Ontario's Industrial Establishments Regulation were carried out at the workplace.

O-I Canada Corporation was fined $100,000 by Justice of the Peace Milagros Eustaquio-Syme in Brampton court on June 13.

The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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