Firm fined $80,000 after worker burned, permanently injured, following equipment repair
Brampton, ON - Colortech Inc., a manufacturer of colour concentrated plastic additives, has pleaded guilty and has been fined $80,000 after a worker was severely burned and suffered permanent injuries.
Brampton, ON – Colortech Inc., a manufacturer of colour concentrated plastic additives, has pleaded guilty and has been fined $80,000 after a worker was severely burned and suffered permanent injuries.
On September 26, 2012, an employee was working at Colortech’s facility located at 8027 Dixie Road, Brampton, ON. The worker was engaged on a production line of processing equipment used to mix, heat, form and cut plastic into small pellets.
At approximately 1 a.m., some of the heaters near the die on the line stopped operating. A plant electrician attended and repaired the wiring at 3:20 a.m. Elsewhere in the line, the heaters remained operational and the hot molten plastic caused a buildup of pressure and gases at the blocked die and screen changer.
As part of the procedure to re-start the line, the worker was required to change the screen in the screen changer. During this change, there was an unexpected release of pressure, which resulted in the release of hot liquefied plastic, causing second degree burns to multiple part of the body. The worker also inhaled the hot gases, resulting in internal injuries.
The worker is not expected to recover or be able to return to work.
The production line’s screen changer was not equipped with a shield or guard to prevent workers from being injured by hot plastic or gasses; the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that a machine be shielded or guarded so that the product or material being processed does not endanger the safety of any worker.
Colortech Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by Section 26 of the Industrial Regulation were carried out in the workplace, and was fined $80,000 by Justice of the Peace Jeannie Anand in Brampton court.
In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25% 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.