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Injury to Worker Results in Fines for Toronto Manufacturer, Director

Court Bulletin

Injury to Worker Results in Fines for Toronto Manufacturer, Director

Ministry of Labour

Convicted: Rex Pak Ltd., 85 Thornmount Drive, Toronto, Ontario, and Denise Sabatini of Markham, a director/officer of the corporation. The company is a food blending and packaging co-manufacturer.

Location: The company's facility at 85 Thornmount Drive, Toronto.

Description of Offence: A worker received a permanent injury while assessing a sugar-filling line at the company's industrial facility in Scarborough.

Date of Offence: February 24, 2017.

Date of Conviction: January 28, 2019.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following guilty pleas, Rex Pak Ltd. was fined $60,000 and Sabatini was fined $3,500 by Justice of the Peace Paula Hy Phui Liu in Toronto court; Crown Counsel Graeme Adams.
  • 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.
Background:
  • Prior to the accident date, Rex Pak, the employer, had installed temporary perimeter fencing around the sugar-filling line as an interim measure while a long-term guarding solution was being designed and manufactured by a third-party engineering company.
  • On the date in question, the worker did not turn off the agitator which was attached to the hopper for the sugar-filling line before moving the temporary perimeter fence.
  • The worker placed a hand on a moving drive belt which drew the hand into a pinch point between the drive belt and the agitator pulley and caused the injury.
  • Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act provides that an employer shall ensure that measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in a workplace.
  • Ontario Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation), section 25 states "an in-running nip hazard of any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point."
  • Rex Pak failed to adequately ensure that measures and procedures were taken to avoid an in-running nip hazard for the worker in accordance with the act and regulation.
  • One of the directors of Rex Pak, Denise Sabatini, was charged under section 32(a) of the act with failing as a director/officer of the company to take reasonable care between December 2016 and February 24, 2017 to ensure that Rex Pak complied with section 25 of the regulation.
  • Sabatini did not ensure that all reasonable steps were taken to protect the worker from a pinch point on a workplace machine. 


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