Woodstock, ON – A Woodstock employer has pleaded guilty and has been fined $70,000 after a worker suffered chemical burns.
The employer, Bridgestone Canada Inc. operating as Firestone Textiles Company, owns and operates a plant in Woodstock, where it manufactures textile products.
The incident took place on September 14, 2015, at the company’s 1200 Dundas Street, Woodstock plant. A technician was attempting to dispense sulfuric acid to be used in the lab for conducting tests. The sulfuric acid was contained in a 45-gallon drum equipped with an electric pump, hose and nozzle to transfer the acid into the desired container. The worker was attempting to fill a two-litre plastic bottle in this way, when the hose nozzle attached to the bottle detached under pressure. The worker suffered minor chemical burns.
The worker was exposed to the hazard of injury from contact of skin with acid, a noxious liquid, and was not wearing apparel sufficient to protect from injury.
Section 84 of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments prescribes that “a worker exposed to the hazard of injury from contact of the worker’s skin with a noxious gas, liquid, fume or dust shall be protected by wearing apparel sufficient to protect the worker from injury.” The court found that Bridgestone failed as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were carried out at the workplace. This is contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act’s section 25(1)(c) and section 66(1).
Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson imposed a fine of $70,000 in Woodstock court on September 29, 2017.
Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour