Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
RES Precast Inc., a company that designs, fabricates and erects concrete panels, pleaded guilty and was fined $65,000 after a worker suffered critical injuries from panels that tipped over.
On April 21, 2014, workers were at the company’s industrial facility at 3450 Thomas Street in Innisfil where the panels are cast in forms and removed using an overhead crane. Two panels measuring about 20 feet long and weighing a combined 3,750 pounds were being moved to a storage area in the yard at the time.
The storage area contained a number of concrete pillars lying horizontally on the ground and the concrete panels were to be stored on top of the horizontal pillars. The crane operator was being assisted by two workers on the ground. After the crane lowered the concrete panels onto the pillars, one of the workers walked over to the panels and removed the nylon sling that attached the panels to the crane. At that point, the panels tipped over and fell onto the worker. The worker suffered broken bones, lacerations and crushing injuries.
The Ministry of Labour investigation revealed that the panels were placed on pillars that were uneven and sloped.
RES Precast Inc. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the proper measures and procedures were carried out and was fined $65,000 in Barrie court by Justice of the Peace Gerald Stephen Solursh on March 22, 2016.
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.
The law(s) contravened,
RES Precast Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ Regulation 851/90, section 45 (b) which states,
“Material, articles or things,
(b) shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things,
(i) will not tip, collapse or fall, and
(ii) can be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of any worker.”
RES Precast Inc. was also found guilty of a violation 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.”
Can the reader imagine that a complete hazard assessment MUST be done and a set of written work instructions, including safe work procedures including hazard controls, must be discussed prior to the work being done?
Yes, it is the same story, another negligent employer not taking the safety of their employees seriously.
Too bad for the worker!
Where was the competent supervision? Another good question not asked and answered.
By the way, $65,000 will not cover all the expenses of the worker for the surgeries and rehab that he/she will require. No, that extra cost will come from all of us, Ontario taxpayers. Could be that is why the major fines, both personal and company, have been increased which is listed below;
- Personal fines from $25,000 to $100,000. (maximum)
- Company fines from $500,000 to $1,500,000. (maximum)
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.