Blog Post #877 – Monterra Lumber Mill Fined $80,000 in Death of Delivery Driver

Blog Post #877 – Monterra Lumber Mill Fined $80,000 in Death of Delivery Driver

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Monterra Lumber Mills Ltd., a re-manufacturer of softwood lumber, pleaded guilty and has been fined $80,000 in the death of a delivery driver who was killed while lumber was being unloaded from the truck he had been driving.

On November 12, 2013, a driver working for a shipping company was delivering a tractor trailer of bundles of lumber to Monterra’s facility at 12833 Highway 50 South in Bolton. Upon arrival the driver was instructed to drive to the back of the yard; a lumber company worker would then unload the lumber. The driver drove to the back of the yard, then stood on the passenger side of the trailer, rolling up the straps that were securing the bundles of lumber. Each bundle consisted of 189 pieces of board measuring 16 feet long and weighing about 6,000 pounds.

The lumber company worker drove a forklift to the tractor trailer and started to unload the bundles from the driver’s side of the trailer. While removing the first bundle, an adjacent bundle on the passenger’s side fell off the trailer and landed on the driver, causing fatal injuries. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency workers called to the scene.

At the time of the incident, there were no measures in place such as barriers, warning signs or other safeguards for the protection of all workers in the yard where vehicle or pedestrian traffic may endanger the safety of any worker. The lumber company failed as an employer to ensure compliance with Section 20 of Ontario’s Industrial Establishments Regulation.

Monterra Lumber Mills was fined $80,000 for the death by Justice of the Peace Samantha Burton in Caledon court on May 9, 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) in contravention,

Monterra Lumber Mills Ltd. was found guilty of a violation of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 20 which states,

“Barriers, warning signs or other safeguards for the protection of all workers in an area shall be used where vehicle or pedestrian traffic may endanger the safety of any worker.”

Monterra Lumber Mills Ltd. was also found guilty of a violation of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

My opinion,

There are many questions needed to be asked and answered and they are:

  • Was a hazard assessment completed prior to the operation?
  • Is the supervisor “Competent to organize the work?
  • Has the employer ever read the OHSA and sector regulations, in this case, the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90?
  • Does the employer even know the legal definition of the term “Competent”?
  • Is there a health and safety committee that should be involved in the day-to-day safety issues?

Monterra Lumber Mills should be fully aware of the worker rights and responsibilities as well as their role in the control of everything, including hazard recognition and control. (the MOL would make sure of that before concluding the investigation)

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

In Ontario, all accidents are preventable.

Daniel L. Beal – CHSEP – Advanced

VP and Senior Trainer

Dan
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