Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
The Corporation of the Town of Innisfil pleaded guilty and has been fined $100,000 after a worker was critically injured by a large shelving unit that was being moved by a loader equipped with forks.
On January 27, 2016, three workers employed by the town in its operations department were moving equipment and machinery from the maintenance and storage bay at the Innisfil Public Works building to the new Innisfil Operations Centre; the old building was slated for demolition. The afternoon shift crew was moving some of the last pieces of equipment and machinery onto a trailer for transport to the new operations centre.
One of the workers was operating the loader and the other two workers alternately assisted the operator. They loaded five pieces of equipment and machinery onto the trailer without incident. The workers were moving the last large item that was to go onto the trailer – a six-foot-tall bolts bin shelving unit that held metal items. The shelving unit was not secured to the loader; one worker walked beside the loader, and as the loader advanced to the trailer, the operator could see less and less of the worker on foot.
The shelving unit made contact with the side of the trailer and the unit fell where the worker on foot was standing. The injured worker was unconscious for a time and suffered critical injuries.
Failing to follow the procedures in the regulation is also an offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Justice Cecile Applegate imposed a fine of $100,000 on August 30, 2017 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Barrie.
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.
The law(s) in contravention
The City of Innisfil was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ sector regulation 851/90, section 56 which states,
“Where the operator of a vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment does not have a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment or its load, the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment shall only be operated as directed by a signaler who is a competent person and who is stationed,
(a) in full view of the operator;
(b) with a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load; and
(c) clear of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load.”
The City of Innisfil was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
Where was the worker’s supervisor in all this? Why was a JHA not completed prior to the job that was to be completed? Why was the worker placed at risk at all? Why did the city not have a safety professional to ensure full regulatory compliance?
All great questions but little answers.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free: +1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259 We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.