BY ALEX GREGORY
A Brampton based printing press has been charged in provincial offences court, in connection with a 2018 industrial accident that left one worker injured.
The ruling, which was delivered on Sep. 21, was made after the incident, which occurred on Aug. 22, 2018 at the printing press facility, which is owned by Quebec-based Imprimeries Transcontinental, which provides commercial printing services to clients throughout the country. On the date of the incident, an employee was at the facility, located at 138 East Drive, and was operating one of the printing presses within.
The press involved in the incident uses a drive mechanism to move flyers along a conveyor belt as part of the printing process. The worker was operating the press when they noticed that fliers being printed by the machine were not coming out in an orderly manner. The worker tried to troubleshoot the problem by turning off the power to the drive shaft and removing a fixed guard that was situated over the area where the chain met the drive shaft. In the process of doing this, the worker did not ‘lock-out’ the machine, a process where the controls for powering the drive shaft are locked and all energy is dispersed to prevent any inadvertent starting of the drive shaft.
The worker deduced that the drive shaft needed to be repaired, and left to find the appropriate personnel to fix the problem. Though the worker advised other employees not to touch the machine as they left, another worker attempted to troubleshoot the problem on their own.
The guard was off the machine at that point, and while the power to the drive shaft was off, the controls were not locked out. The second worker attempted 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. In an investigation afterwards by the Ministry of Labour, it was discovered that the injured worker had not been properly trained on the hazards associated with the printing press, and that workers did not have the ability to ensure that the controls could be locked out if necessary. Further investigation revealed that employees would routinely troubleshoot issues with the presses without locking out the controls, and that it was up to their own discretion whether or not to call maintenance personnel.
The company was fined $60,000 in Brampton court on Sep. 21, along with a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge. The company was charged under Section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which requires an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.