ESPANOLA, ON – Paper and wood fibre producer Domtar Inc., pleaded guilty and was fined $50,000 in court after a worker suffered a permanent injury caused by a machine.
The incident took place at Domtar’s paper mill in Espanola on 1 Station Road on July 18, 2015.
On that day, a worker was cutting a section of dryer felt on a paper machine in the course of performing a repair. The paper machine was mechanically and electrically locked out, as required by Domtar’s policies.
Upon cutting the dryer felt, elastic stretch in the paper machine was released. As a result, a chain and sprocket mechanism moved, and the worker received injuries that included loss of dexterity.
Court was told that employees failed to block the chain to prevent movement in the course of repair work. This was an offence contrary to section 75(b) of Ontario’s Industrial Establishments Regulation (Regulation 851), which states that “a part of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when… any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement.” This was also an offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Justice of the Peace Diane Lafleur fined the company $50,000 in Espanola court on June 8, 2017.
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.