Tembec Industries Inc. fined $110,000 for Health and Safety violation
HEARST, ON, March 24 /CNW/ - Tembec Industries Inc., a Montreal-based company which owns and operates a planing mill in the Town of Hearst, was fined $110,000 on March 19, 2003 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in a serious arm injury to an employee.
On February 3, 2001, a worker was helping a millwright realign a belt on a conveyor when one of the worker's arms got caught in the conveyor's end roll. A Ministry of Labour investigation found the conveyor had been locked out at the operator's control panel. However, the millwright had bypassed the controls and provided power to the conveyor by inserting an object into an electrical starter in the main electrical panel. This was done two or three times to jog the conveyor belt forward. The millwright and the worker made alignment adjustments between each jogging manoeuvre. The ministry found the electrical panel's door obstructed the millwright's view of the worker. The incident occurred at Tembec Industries' mill in the Town of Hearst in the District of Cochrane in Northern Ontario.
Tembec Industries Inc. was found guilty, as an employer, of failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring the electrical control for the conveyor could not be bypassed when locked out. This was contrary to Section 25(2)(h) of the act.
The fined was imposed by Justice Martin Lambert of the Ontario Court of Justice in Hearst. In addition, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act.
For further information: Belinda Sutton, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405; Wes Wilson, Crown Counsel, Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7977; Judie Im, Crown Counsel, Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7989
Well, I'm willing to jump into the discussion, I think that Tembec Industries, didn't really help thier case by having the Interlocks over-ridden, they are installed for a purpose. Why couldn't they have had some "Inch" buttons installed, nearer to the machine, with an Emergency Stop button, too!. This sort of accident, really annoys me, as while us Electrical Technicians, take all practicable steps to design and install a working Safety system, only to have the whole thing bridged out, either by Company Management(because the process is too slow)or by the Labourers using this gear(because it is too inconvenient). I've seen I don't know how many factory workers lose arms, fingers, etc, because of the bottom line.(Money-wise) This sort of thing, just HAS to STOP!.