September 21, 2020 By PrintAction Staff
Imprimeries Transcontinental 2005 S.E.N.C., TC Transcontinental’s Montreal Premedia division, has been convicted following a worker injury that occurred at a printing press/manufacturing facility located at 138 East Drive, in Brampton, Ont., on Aug. 28, 2018.
On this date, a worker suffered “critical injuries from being pulled into machinery that should have been locked out. The company failed to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker in relation to safely locking out a drive shaft on a press machine.”
The injury occurred from a moving chain on the draft shaft of a printing press. The printing press uses a drive mechanism to move flyers along a conveyer belt. While operating the press, one worker noticed the flyers were not exiting the machine in an “orderly manner,” and tried to troubleshoot the problem by turning off the power to the drive shaft and removing a fixed guard that was located over the area where the chain met the drive shaft. However, the worker did not ‘lock-out’ the machine, which involves locking the controls for powering the drive shaft, resulting in energy being dispersed to prevent any inadvertent starting of the drive shaft.
The worker determined maintenance personnel would be necessary to address the problem with the drive shaft. The guard was still off the machine. Although the power to the drive shaft was shut off, the controls were not locked out. Before leaving the press area, the worker advised other workers to not touch the press and wait for maintenance to come and fix the problem.
Despite that, another worker came to the area and attempted to troubleshoot the problem by trying to clean the chain, then turned on the power to the drive shaft. The drive shaft did not start, so the worker proceeded to clean the chain further, but did not turn off the power prior to doing so. The drive shaft started suddenly, and the worker was injured.
At the time, the Ministry of Labour investigated the incident and determined that the injured worker had not been trained on the hazards associated with not safely locking out the press machine. In addition, workers were not provided with locks to ensure controls are locked out – only maintenance personnel were provided with locks.
The investigation also found that press workers commonly troubleshooted problems with the printing presses without locking out the controls. It was left to the workers’ discretion as to whether to troubleshoot a problem or call maintenance. Had the drive shaft been locked out, with the power dispersed and the controls locked to prevent starting, the injured worker would not have been able to start the drive shaft.
Section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker. As such the company contravened section 25(2)(a) of the act by failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker in relation to safety locking out a drive shaft on a press machine.
Following a guilty plea, TC Transcontinental was fined $60,000 in provincial offences court in Brampton by Justice of the Peace Richard Quon. The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is provided to a provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
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