Dekka Resins Inc. Fined $75,000 for Health and Safety Violation

By: Canada NewsWire

BRANTFORD, ON (CNW) - Dekka Resins Inc., a Brantford-based company that recycles plastic, was fined $75,000 today for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in injuries to an employee.

On August 20, 2005, an apprentice millwright was checking to ensure electrical loads were functioning properly in a control panel for "die heaters" (equipment that heats plastic before it is cut) when the worker's overalls got caught in rotating knives on a nearby "pellitzer" (a machine that cuts plastic). The worker received a large laceration to the right elbow and cuts to the back. The incident occurred at the company's plant at 55 Plant Farm Boulevard in Brantford.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found the rotary knife cutter was usually inside the pellitzer, but, if it was outside the machine, it was usually covered with a sponge shield guard to prevent worker contact and injury.

However, at the time of the incident, the knife cutter was outside of the pellitzer and was not covered with a shield. The injured worker had inadvertently started the knife motor in a main electrical panel, but had immediately hit a stop button.

However, the worker was not actually aware of what the stop button controlled and the knives were still rotating when the worker returned to check the die heater's electrical loads.

Dekka Resins Inc. pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to ensure a protective device was provided for the knife cutter to ensure worker safety, as required by Section 84 of the Regulations for Industrial Establishments. This was contrary to Section 25(1)(a) of the act.

The fine was imposed by Justice Martha Zivolak of the Ontario Court of Justice in Brantford. 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)