Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
ABC Interior Systems Inc., a North York company that produced plastic auto parts using injection and blow moulding, was fined $50,000 for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, after a worker was injured.
On February 9, 2009, a worker was working at the company’s Etobicoke plant, where parts were assembled and spray painted. The worker was working indoors near a loading door. Outdoors, a lift-truck operator was bringing in three stacks of large plastic containers into the plant. The operator was attempting to secure the third, and final, stack of containers on a forklift when the stack became unbalanced due to a build-up of snow and ice. The stack tipped and crashed into the loading door, injuring the worker inside.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the company failed to keep the ground in the area clear of accumulated ice and snow.
ABC Interior Systems Inc. was found guilty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to keep the floor or other surface that are used by workers free of obstructions, hazards and accumulation of refuse, snow or ice.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Ana Costa. In addition to the fine, the court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, 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) broken,
ABC Interior Systems Inc. was found guilty of violating section 11(a) of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851 which states,
“A floor or other surface used by any worker shall,
a) Be kept free of obstructions, hazards and accumulations of refuse snow or ice.”
It does not matter where housekeeping becomes an issue. The build-up of snow and ice is considered a danger so we always recommend parking lots be kept clear of ice and snow for the pedestrians and/or the workforce. Why would the back-lot of a workplace be held in different regard. A forklift operator can tell you what it is like to have a slippery surface to drive on and the steps to remove the slippery obstacles.
My suggestion would be that the operator training was inadequate because, as a forklift trainer, I always stress the importance of refusing unsafe work as explained in section 43 and 44 of the OHSA.
I also advise that the employer review the entire Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851 and look for the sections that directly pertain to their business. As well, the OHSA section 25 and 26 explain the employer’s responsibilities and one being that the relevant sections of the OHSA and regulation must be adhered to. (section 25,(1c)) The supervisor also must be competent and ensure, “ that a worker works in a manner with the protective devices and procedures required by the ACT and the regulations.” (section 27 (1a))
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer