Paper Mill, Soy Bean Farm Fined in Worker Mishaps


Resolute FP Canada Inc., carrying on business as Resolute Forest Products Canada, has been fined $55,000 after a worker was injured at a paper mill.

In November 2012, three workers were in the paper mill in Fort Frances, moving a 44,000-pound, 22-foot-long stack roll to a paper machine. The workers used two forklifts to place the stack roll onto a designated cart to bring it into the mill; once inside, another forklift was hooked to the front of the cart using a sling. One worker operated the forklift pulling the cart while two others walked along the cart to guide it.

Stack roll crushed worker’s arm and wrist, causing injuries

Ministry of Labour

To pass through a hallway about eight feet wide, it was necessary for the two workers to manually push and pull on the stack roll. On one side was a concrete wall and on the other was a set of steps and a steel column.

As the cart moved forward, a wheel hit the column, causing the stack roll to move and pinch one worker’s arm. He suffered a crushed arm and wrist.

Guilty Plea in Fort Frances

The Ministry of Labour investigated and concluded that Resolute Forest Products failed as an employer to ensure that a stack roll was moved in such a way and with such precautions as to ensure that the moving the roll did not endanger the safety of the worker.

The company pleaded guilty and was fined $55,000 by Justice of the Peace Tom Logan, July 25, in Provincial Offences Court, Fort Frances.

Charges were laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 25 (1)(c) and Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments), Section 45(a).

Willow Hawk Farms Inc., a small family farming operation based in Tillsonburg, has been fined $18,000 after a worker was injured by a mechanism used in processing soy beans.

In April, 2013, a worker at the farm in Bayham was sweeping soy beans into a dryer bin. The device uses two augers to move crop products into a bin. One end of the sweep auger is fixed in the centre of the floor and the other end moves in an arc across the floor.

Auger catches worker’s clothing, damaging his leg.

– Ministry of Labour

The sweep auger was rotating while the worker was sweeping soy beans. The worker’s clothing was caught in the auger and the worker was thrown forward into the path of the auger. His leg was caught under the auger, causing a cut and soft tissue damage.

A Ministry of Labour investigation followed. The operating instructions for the augur states that no one should enter the bin unless the power to the sweep auger is disconnected and locked out. On the day in question, the sweep auger was not disconnected.

Failing to Follow Maker’s Instructions

Willow Hawk Farms pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation of the bin sweep auger were complied with. The farm was fined $18,000 July 25, by Justice of the Peace Sonia Aleong, in the Elgin County Courthouse, St. Thomas. The conviction was under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 25 (2)(h).

In addition to the fines, the courts impose 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.

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