By OHS Canada
A steel nail manufacturing company in Kitchener, Ont., has been fined a total of $100,000 for machine-guarding violations. No injuries were reported, but it was the third conviction in six years for THS Industries Ltd.
The fine included $85,000 against the company and $15,000 to Xiaoye He, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO).
On Dec. 22, 2021, occupational health and safety inspectors from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) visited THS Industries Ltd. to investigate an anonymous complaint that workers were bypassing machine guarding devices on nail-maker machines.
Section 25 of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments states that an in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point.
The investigation found unfixed access gates on several machines.
In one case, a worker was seen working inside an open access gate of a running machine. In another case, a machine’s lid was open while the machine was running.
MLITSD inspectors found that fixed guards had been removed around a significant number of nail-maker machines and at multiple locations on each machine.
There were no injuries, but the lack of a fixed guarding device created access to an in-running nip hazard that could have resulted in serious injuries to a worker.
THS Industries Ltd., as an employer, and Xiaoye He, as a Director, failed to take all reasonable care to ensure equipment, materials and protective devices, as prescribed by Section 25 of Ontario Regulation 851/90, were provided for nail-maker machines. For THS Industries Ltd., this was contrary to section 25(1)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). For Xiaoye He, this was contrary to OHSA section 32(a).
The court also 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.