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Norampac fined for worker injuries


May 8, 2006
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Two violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act saddled Norampac with a $140,000 fine.

Two violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act saddled Norampac with a $140,000 fine.

On August 31, 2004, at the company’s Mississauga, ON mill, a worker was manually feeding paper into a machine used in the production of linerboard for cardboard boxes, when the worker’s left hand was drawn into a pinch point. The worker was pulled into the spool, up to the shoulder, before the machine automatically shut down. The worker suffered multiple injuries, including second-degree burns, a punctured lung, and fractured bones and bruising. At the time of the accident, the worker was attempting to clear a paper jam in the machine. The worker was freed by a second employee, who had to use a crane to lift the spool.

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A Ministry of Labour investigation found that a third worker, who was at a control panel, had activated the machine in “jog” mode, while the first worker started to manually feed the paper. This was part of the company’s usual procedure for clearing paper jams. However, it was difficult from the third worker’s vantagepoint to see the first worker. This made it difficult for the third worker to know when it was safe to start the machine. In addition, verbal communication between the workers was limited because of high noise levels in the mill. As a result, the workers relied on visual communication to indicate when the machine could be activated in “jog” mode.

Norampac pleaded guilty for two main reasons, the first on behalf of its failure to equip the machine with an automated start-up warning device, and for neglecting to ensure an in-running nip hazard on the machine was equipped with a device that prevented access to the pinch point.


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