Windsor, ON – G&K Services Canada Inc., a uniform supplier, was fined $60,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.
G&K Services Canada Inc. operates an industrial laundry service at its Windsor facility. As part of the laundry process, clothing is placed in a bag with a drawstring at the bottom. The bag moves vertically along a conveyor until it gets to a sensor at the end. When the bag hits the sensor, it is hoisted up into the air.
On September 24, 2009, a worker noticed that the drawstring on a bag was not tied. The worker attempted to tie the bag while walking with it along the conveyor. When the bag hit the sensor, it was hoisted up. The worker’s thumb was entangled in the bag’s drawstring, and the worker was lifted into the air with the bag. The worker’s thumb was amputated by the force of the moving bag.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the emergency stop button on the bag hoist was too high up for a worker to reach in an emergency.
G&K Services Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the emergency stop button on the bag hoist was located within easy reach of the machine operator.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Gay. 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.