Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
The main union work Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) workers blames the employer’s practice contracting out safety-sensitive jobs for recent incident in which an employee was hit by a bus.
According to an August 24, 2017 statement from the Amalgamated Transit Union local 113 (ATU 113), the worker was seriously injured at the Wilson bus ranch in North Toronto on August 16, 2017 when the driver of the bus – a contract employee – exceeded the courageous speed limit of 7 km per hour at the time.
“The TTC routinely hires unqualified contract workers in the maintenance Department,” the union claims. “These workers receive less training and often operate transit buses without a valid bus driver’s license. The lack of training… has jeopardized our safety.”
A TTC statement denies that its contract workers are insufficiently trained, adding that service line cleaners require a valid class A, B or C licenses. “This was an unfortunate incident that resulted in injuries to the operator,” the TTC states. “Safety is the cornerstone of all TTC operations, and we take incidents like this seriously. We continue to review this particular incident with the Ministry of labour and our contractor.”
ATU 113 claims that the TTC failed to notify the union about the incident and that union representatives found out about it only after receiving messages from the victim, several hours after the incident. The union called the employer’s lack of notification of breach of “agreed-upon health and safety procedures.” The TTC also and collected to test the contract worker for alcohol and drugs after the incident, according to the union statement.
The OH&S Canada magazine rarely ever quotes sections of the regulations that were in violation so I will use my experience and give a few to show the reader the need for employer, supervisor and worker responsibility on the job.
First of all, the employer should have realized that there is a standard for the bus drivers, and more importantly, there is a definition that should’ve been used as the cornerstone of safety. The “Definitions” section discusses “Competency under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and it states,
“‘Competent person’ means a person who,
(a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,
(b) is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and
(c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.”
There is another section that applies to employer responsibility and that is mainly covered in section 25. For instance, the following is listed under 1 (c);
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
Section 25, subsection 2 (a) states,
“An employer shall,
- provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”
My next question is this. Where was the supervisor in all this? If the supervisor was unaware of the dangers then section 25, subsection 2 (c) has been violated and it states,
“An employer shall,
- when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.”
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.