By Jim Wilson via the Canadian Occupational Safety

Vancouver-based employer CRM of Canada Processing ULC has been fined $125,000 in an Ontario court after one of its workers was killed in a workplace incident.

Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Brantford, the employer must also pay 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.

The incident happened on March 3, 2021 at approximately 1:40 pm at the company’s rubber recycling facility in Brantford. A truck driver employed by the third-party trucking company arrived on site for a container that was in the final stages of being filled.

The container contained fibrous materials released as by-products, which are the result of breaking up the tires into smaller crumb rubber pellets. The by-product is collected and compacted into an industrial container and is then trucked off the premises by a third-party trucking company. The containers are designed with clamping devices on each side of the container to secure the container to the compactor.

The driver had regularly attended this facility to deliver empty containers and remove filled containers. On that day, the driver backed their truck into position, entered the building and spoke briefly to the assistant compactor operator. He then left.

Ten minutes later, the assistant compactor operator – who’s responsible for securing the clamping devices and for ensuring the limit switch is activated and correctly positioned – found the worker unresponsive and trapped between the container and the wall. The worker suffered fatal injuries.

There were no eyewitnesses to the incident, and it is not clear how the container became detached from the compactor. “Upon investigation, it was determined the limit switch was not appropriately activated or positioned to be able to detect the position of the container,” according to the Ontario government.

The investigation also found that the operators of the compactor were not informed or instructed on how to correctly position and activate this limit switch, it said.

“As such, CRM of Canada Processing ULC failed as an employer to provide information and instruction and to workers and therefore violated section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.”

Previously, Ontario employer Orin Contracting Services Inc. has been fined $125,000 after pleading guilty to workplace safety rules violations in the Ontario Court of Justice following fatal injuries to a worker.

Also, Countrywide Recycling Inc. – a company that provides waste management and recovery services – was tasked to pay $100,000 for one incident that left one of its workers fatally injured.