A Maple Ridge business was fined almost $30,000 after one of their workers was seriously injured on the job.
Prime Health Ltd., a contract manufacturer of natural health products and nutritional supplements, located at 11450 201A Street, was fined $28,090.34, after a worker partially amputated their right index finger while attempting to dislodge a plastic bottle from a sorting and conveyor machine, called a Speed Bottle Unscrambler, while the machine was running. The worker opened the Plexiglas safeguard to access the stuck bottle when their finger became caught in the conveyor drive belt that resulted in the injury.
WorkSafeBC attended the incident on Dec. 23, 2021.
After an investigation, they determined that the sorting and conveyor machine had not been locked out and the safeguard in place was not effective to protect workers from hazardous point of operation.
At the time of the investigation the employer respresentative was verbally ordered to stop-use of the machine.
The agency also determined that the firm failed to ensure machinery was equipped with adequate safeguards.
In addition, WorkSafeBC reported that the business failed to ensure no work was done on unguarded machinery – until the machine was locked out.
“These were both repeated and high-risk violations,” said Alexandra Skinner, a spokesperson for WorkSafeBC.
WorkSafeBC has legislative authority to levy financial penalties against employers for health and safety violations that can result in workplace injury, disease, or death. Under the agency’s police, employers of similar size generally receive similar penalty amounts in similar cases. The amount of a penalty is based on the size of the employer’s payroll and the nature of the violation. The maximum amount that an employer can be fined as of this year is $710,488.79.
Last year WorkSafeBC handed out 359 penalties totalling around $7.9 million.
• The News has reached out to Prime Health Ltd. for comment and has not yet received a response.
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