Thursday, November 14, 2013

Coca-Cola Bottling Company Fined $70,000 After Worker Injured

Ontario Newsroom Ontario Newsroom
Court Bulletin

Coca-Cola Bottling Company Fined $70,000 After Worker Injured

November 14, 2013
BRAMPTON, ON - Coca-Cola Bottling Company, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has been fined $70,000 for a violation of Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker in a Brampton plant was injured.

On December 1, 2010, a worker was operating a palletizer machine at the company plant located at 15 Westcreek Boulevard in Brampton when the worker noticed that cases of product were becoming stuck on transfer plates. The palletizer machine loads beverage product cases onto pallets for shipping. Due to spillage of pop products, transfer plates become sticky and often interfere with the movement and proper alignment of beverage product cases; workers commonly spray the plates with an aerosol silicone spray to overcome the sticking. The safety equipment on the palletizer machines includes a gate that is interlocked so the palletizer machine stops if the gate is opened.

In this incident the worker proceeded to reach inside the opening in the gate to spray the plate with silicone without shutting off the production line. As the worker did so, a push bar cycled on and pinched the worker's arm between the push bar and a metal support beam. The worker suffered a fractured arm as a result.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that an in-running nip hazard on the palletizer that endangered the safety of a worker was equipped with and guarded with a device that prevents access to the pinch point as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and was fined $70,000.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Richard Quon. In addition to the fine, the court 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.

Court Information at a Glance

Location:                    Ontario Court of Justice
                                    7755 Hurontario Street
                                    Brampton, ON
Judge:                         Justice of the Peace Richard Quon

Date of Sentencing:    November 12, 2013

Defendant:                  Coca-Cola Bottling Company
                                   1959 Upper Water Street, Suite 1100
                                   Halifax, Nova Scotia

Matter:                        Occupational Health and Safety

Conviction:                 Ontario Regulation 851/90
                                    (Industrial Establishments)
                                    Occupational Health and Safety Act
                                    Section 25(1)(a)

Crown Counsel:          Daniel Kleiman