Quality Belt Maintenance Ltd. fined $50,000 for health and safety violation
ST. CATHARINES, ON, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - Quality Belt Maintenance Ltd., an industrial rubber products service company with a facility in Fort Erie, Ont., was fined $50,000 on December 16, 2005 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in serious burns to an employee.

On June 16, 2004, a worker was testing the voltage going into a fuse box in a maintenance building when an electrical flash occurred. The worker suffered burns to the face, neck, hands and forearms. At the time of the incident the worker was troubleshooting an electric "belt roller" (a machine used to wind up spare conveyor belts) which would not start. The worker was injured when a screw holding a wire leading into the fuse box was touched with a testing meter probe. The incident occurred at the company's facility at 737 Gilmore Road in Fort Erie.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found the power supply to the fuse box had not been shut off. The investigation also revealed the tester's probes were not connected to the correct ports for measuring voltage and that the worker was not wearing rubber gloves or using mats, shields or other protective equipment and procedures to protect against electrical shock.

Quality Belt Maintenance Ltd. pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to ensure the worker used adequate protective equipment and procedures to ensure protection from electrical shock and burns while testing the voltage going into the fuse box, as required by Section 42.1(2) of the Regulations for Industrial Establishments. This was contrary to Section 25(1)(c) of the act.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Donna Cowan of the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines. In addition, the court 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.


Tony Moscioni
Electrical Inspector
Electrical Safety Authority