Vertis Plant Socked with $60K Fine After Injury

ST. CATHARINES, ONT—American Color Graphics, an affiliate of Baltimore-based Vertis Communications, was fined $60,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a young worker was injured.

On Aug. 24, 2010, at the company’s facility in Stevensville, Canada, there was a jam in a printing press. Workers shut down the press and engaged a safe button to prevent the machine from restarting as they looked for the jam.

A summer student discovered a jam in the rear of the press and started to remove it, out of sight of the other workers. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew found a jam in the front of the machine. Not knowing that the student was on the other side of the press attempting to clear another jam, the crew restarted the machine so they could manually jog the paper jam at the front.

When the press was restarted and manually jogged forward, the young worker’s hand was drawn between two rollers at the rear of the press. The young worker suffered a hand injury.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the area of the press where the worker’s hand was drawn in was protected by a guard, but it was inadequate to prevent the worker’s hand from being drawn into the rollers. American Color Graphics pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the in-running nip hazard on the press was equipped with a guard or other device that prevented access to its pinch point.

In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25 percent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offenses Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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