Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
CS Wind Canada Inc., a manufacturer of wind turbine towers, pleaded guilty and has been fined $60,000 after a worker was injured by moving components of a tower under construction.
On November 4, 2014, a worker at the company facility at 9355 Anchor Drive in Windsor was bending one of the ‘skirts’ that, when connected together, form a wind turbine tower about 310 feet high.
During the bending operation, the worker stepped onto the bending machine and inside the rolled skirt to make final measurements prior to welding. The two ends of the skirt which were butted up against each other suddenly moved, trapping part of the worker’s body. The worker suffered multiple injuries.
The Ministry of Labour investigation found that the incident took place because the skirt in the bending machine was not blocked to prevent movement. This would have been a reasonable precaution under Section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which requires an employer to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.
The company pleaded guilty to failing to protect a worker, and was fined $60,000 by Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman in Windsor court on August 18, 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,
CS Wind Canada Inc. was found guilty of a violation of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA) Section 25(2)(h) which states,
“An employer shall,
(h) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
I was surprised to learn that the Ministry of Labour (MOL) has not updated the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, to include blocking of material as part of the lockout and tagout section of that regulation. MACHINE BLOCKING is taught in most LOTO courses so it should have come to CS Wind Canada Inc. that this was a requirement. Where was the supervisor? Why was the information not a part of the worker’s written work procedures?
All good questions, and again, no answers.
Please ensure that 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.