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Canada: Pool Manufacturer Fined $75,000 for Safety Violation

Cantar/Polyair Canada Ltd., a manufacturer of pool and protective packaging products that operates a plant in Toronto, has been fined $75,000 (U.S. $64,733) for a violation of the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in serious arm injuries to a worker. A supervisor was fined $2,000 (U.S. $1,726).

On June 12, 2004, a worker at Cantar/Polyair Canada's plant on Humberline Drive in Toronto was operating an Alpha Marathon 6-foot Cast Line Machine, used to produce foil bubble wrap material, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The worker was attempting to wind material onto a corrugated core on the machine when the worker's right arm became entangled.

The worker was lifted approximately 3 feet (just under 1 meter) when the worker became caught in a pinch point generated by the winding material on the machine. The worker received fractures to both major bones in the lower right arm.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that prior to the accident, workers were having difficulty getting material to properly adhere to the corrugated core, and were using their hands or other tools to push the material into the winder while the machine was operating.

It also was determined that the supervisor was aware of the danger of entanglement with the material on the winder of the machine and did not advise the worker of the existence of the danger, according to the ministry. The worker had not been given written instructions on the safe operation of the machine.

On Dec. 15, Cantar/Polyair Canada pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to take the reasonable precaution of providing written instructions regarding the operation of the machine, for the protection of a worker. This was contrary to Section 25(2)(h) of the act.

The supervisor also pleaded guilty to failing, as a supervisor, to advise a worker of the existence of any potential or actual danger to the health or safety of the worker of which the supervisor is aware. This was contrary to Section 27(2)(a) of the act.

Currency rates are as of 3:26 p.m. EST on Dec. 20.

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