Worker Injury Results in $55,000 Fine for Woodbridge Stone Company
Convicted: Best Way Stone Limited, 8821 Weston Road, Woodbridge, Ontario, a company that manufactures concrete products such as paving stones and patio slabs.
Location: The company's plant at 8821 Weston Road in Woodbridge.
Description of Offence: A worker received critical injuries after being pushed into a lift table when a conveyor carrying transfer boards loaded with paving stones resumed moving through the production line.
Date of Offence: January 26, 2018.
Date of Conviction: May 24, 2019.
- Following a guilty plea, Best Way Stone Limited was fined $55,000 by Justice of the Peace Rhonda Shousterman in Newmarket provincial court. Crown Counsel: Judy L. Chan.
- 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.
- On January 26, 2018, a worker had the task of getting the facility's HESS line ready for production. The HESS line is used in the manufacture of paving stones. It includes the HESS machine and a de-stacker, which pushes transfer boards carrying the formed paving stones through the line and into the HESS machine.
- The worker was operating the HESS line from a control room.
- The worker 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) provides 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 machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part."
- 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.