Blog Post #935 – Injury to Young Worker Results in $100,000 Fine

Blog Post #935 – Injury to Young Worker Results in $100,000 Fine

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A Calgary-based company pleaded guilty and has been fined $100,000 after a young worker suffered permanent injuries.

The company, Tervita Corporation, was the constructor of a City of Barrie project to reclaim landfill at a site located at 272 Ferndale Drive North in Barrie.

On March 5, 2015, a young worker (a person under the age of 25) employed by Tervita was operating a city-supplied trommel machine in the landfill. The machine is used to screen and separate material.

The worker was using a tool known as a “pick” to clear the trommel when it filled up with material being screened. While performing this task, the worker was pulled into an exposed pinch point on the machine created by the drive wheels.

The worker was able to get free but suffered injury that required medical attention.

The company pleaded guilty and was fined $100,000 by Justice of the Peace Cheryl B. McLean in provincial court in Barrie on November 1, 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.

New and young workers in Ontario are more likely than older and more experienced workers to be injured on the job, especially during their first three months on the job.

The law(s) in contravention,

Tervita Corporation was found guilty of a violation of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 109 that states,

“Every gear, pulley, belt, chain, shaft, flywheel, saw and other mechanically-operated part of a machine to which a worker has access shall be guarded or fenced so that it will not endanger a worker.”

Tervita Corporation was also found guilty of a violation of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 23, subsection 1(a) which states,

“A constructor shall ensure, on a project undertaken by the constructor that,

  • the measures and procedures prescribed by this Act and the regulations are carried out on the project.”

My opinion,

I have stated, for the past 8 years, that the province of Alberta has the worst record of health and safety on the jobsite of any province. They have some of the largest fines in Canada but are clever not to upset the employers. They have many examples of structured fines where the employer gets off with a small fine and a large donation to a university or some other association. I have completed reports on cases where fines were not assessed at all. (even with a workplace death)

Now we see an Albertan company bringing their cavalier approach to health and safety and people are getting hurt here.

I do wish the province would work closely with the Alberta Federation Of Labour and make things safer for all. So far, they seem to be ignored.

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.