Atlantic Minerals Ltd. of Corner Brook has been ordered to pay a total of $21,000 in fines and contribute $2,000 to a safety awareness initiative as a result of an industrial accident that resulted in an employee losing a finger.
Atlantic Minerals Ltd. and a supervisor with the Corner Brook company have been fined for occupational health and safety violations stemming from an incident in June 2011.
— Photo by Gary Kean/The Western Star
The accident happened at the company’s Atlantic Ready Mix facility in the Brake’s Cove area of Corner Brook on June 7, 2011.
Ormsby Hann, who was the supervisor in charge at the time of the accident, was also fined $2,000 for failing to ensure the workplace was as safe as possible.
The worker’s right hand was crushed when the press portion of a concrete block machine activated unexpectedly. The victim’s injuries resulted in the surgical amputation of one finger.
In September, Atlantic Minerals Ltd. entered guilty pleas to three of the five occupational health and safety charges filed against it, while Hann pleaded guilty to one of the two charges against him. The remaining charges against both the company and Hann were withdrawn.
The charges to which the company pleaded guilty were failure to provide and maintain a safe workplace and necessary equipment, systems or tools; failure to ensure adequate machinery safeguards to prevent access to hazardous points of access; and failure to ensure that machinery energy source was isolated and effectively controlled.
Neither the company nor Hann were present in provincial court for a facts and sentencing hearing Friday morning and were both represented by lawyer Jamie Merrigan.
Crown attorney Allison Manning read out the facts of the case, detailing how Hann had authorized the removal of a protective guard on the machinery that subsequently inflicted the injury.
Manning and Merrigan made a joint submission on sentencing, asking Judge Wayne Gorman to impose a fine of $7,000 for each of the company’s three violations and an additional $2,000 to be forwarded to the provincial government for an educational campaign about the importance of locking out dangerous industrial machinery.
The lawyers also agreed that a $2,000 fine was sufficient for Hann’s role in the accident. Merrigan stressed to Gorman that his client was extremely upset about what happened to the employee under his supervision.
Merrigan said Hann was a longtime employee with an exemplary safety record up to that point.
Gorman endorsed the joint submission, including the payment of $2,000 to Service NL for a public educational project regarding industrial machinery lockout procedures. The judge gave the company three months to pay its fines and Hann six months to pay his.
When contacted by The Western Star after the sentencing Friday, company president Bill Fitzgerald said action has already been taken to ensure accidents like this do not happen again, but would not comment further on the case.
The Western Star