Canadian Manufacturing

Green Belting enters guilty plea and fined $60,000 for worker injury

A stacker was the wrong device for moving a heavy roll that tipped off the forks

October 8, 2020  by CM Staff

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A manufacturer of tapes and adhesives has been fined $60,000 in Ontario provincial court following a guilty plea as a result of an employee injury.

On Feb. 6, 2019 a worker was tasked with moving paper or glass rolls using a stacker at Green Belting Industries Ltd.’s Mississauga, Ont.

Rolls are placed on small racks at the production equipment, and also stored on a racking structure elsewhere in the workplace. The rolls are transported and stored using a forklift, or a reach truck, or stacker.

At some point during the day, the worker retrieved a paper roll from the racking structure but determined a forklift was not available. The worker — not a trained forklift operator — opted to use the stacker for the task.

Advertisment

The stacker was not the right device for moving the roll. It’s stabilized by outrigger arms. The lifting forks are controlled behind the machine on handle at the back of the stacker.

The racking structure is made of steel tubing. At the bottom of the structure are two hollow rectangular steel tubes that are welded to the structure. The hollow steel tubes serve as pick-up points so the racking system can be transported with a lift truck.

The steel tubes obstructed the stabilizing outrigger arms of the stacker. This prevented the stacker from being positioned in a perpendicular and centred position relative to the rolls being stored on the racking structure. Because of the obstruction, the worker had to bring the forks of the stacker in on an angle.

After positioning the forks under one of the paper rolls, the worker lifted the paper roll and backed up the stacker. An imbalance, caused by the roll not being centred on the forks of the stacker, the roll started to overturn and tip to the right. The worker tried to push the 823-pound roll back on the forks of the stacker, but the roll fell off the forks and struck the worker, who sustained critical injuries.

The company failed to ensure that the rolls were transported in a manner where they would not tip, collapse or fall, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.