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Domtar fined for worker injury

Ministry of Labour imposes $50,000 fine for 2015 accident
Domtar - Espanola
Domtar's Espanola mill

Domtar was fined $50,000 in court after a worker at its Espanola paper mill suffered a permanent injury in a machine accident in 2015.

The paper and wood fibre producer pleaded guilty on June 8 in a provincial offences court in Espanola stemming from an incident that took place in on July 18, 2015.

Justice of the Peace Diane Lafleur levied the fine.

A Ministry of Labour news release outlined that on that day a worker was cutting a section of dryer felt on a paper machine in the course of performing a repair.

The paper machine was mechanically and electrically locked out, as required by Domtar's policies.

Upon cutting the dryer felt, elastic stretch in the paper machine was released.

As a result, a chain and sprocket mechanism moved, and the worker received injuries that included loss of dexterity.

Court was told that employees failed to block the chain to prevent movement in the course of repair work.

This was an offence listed under section 75(b) of Ontario's Industrial Establishments Regulation (Regulation 851), which states that "a part of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when... any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement."

It’s also an offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The court also 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.