Blog Post #952 – Employer Fined $115,000 After Worker Suffers Crushing Injury

Blog Post #952 – Employer Fined $115,000 After Worker Suffers Crushing Injury

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A company providing sales and service of tractors and other equipment used in the construction industry pleaded guilty and has been fined $115,000 after a worker suffered injuries from a falling piece of equipment.

On August 21, 2015, a worker at Toromont Industries Ltd. workplace at 50 Enterprise Drive in London, Ontario, was injured when one hand became trapped between the concrete floor and a 4,900-pound drive assembly (axle) that had fallen from its support stands in the company’s heavy equipment maintenance shop.

The device had been placed on three support stands and tested to see if was safely balanced on the support stands; however, the test was done while it was still attached to an overhead crane, and it was not solidly secured after part of the drive unit was removed. The weight distribution of the remaining axle assembly changed, resulting in the axle assembly becoming unstable and falling off the support stands. As a result of the incident, the worker suffered serious injuries.

Section 46 of Ontario Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation) requires that machinery, equipment or material that may tip or fall and endanger any worker shall be secured against tipping or falling. The failure to ensure compliance with the regulation was also contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were carried out in the workplace, and was fined $115,000 by Justice of the Peace Anna Hampson in London court on January 5, 2017.

The court also 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.

My opinion

Toromont Industries Ltd. was found guilty of a violation of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 46 which states,

“Machinery, equipment or material that may tip or fall and endanger any worker shall be secured against tipping or falling.”

Toromont Industries Ltd. 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.”

These are questions that needed to be asked and answered:

  • Why was a JHA, ‘Job Hazard Analysis’ not completed before the work was to be done?
  • Why were there no set of written instructions on the support of the axle assembly?
  • Where was the “Competent Supervision” as laid out in section 25, subsection 2(c) in the OHSA? And
  • Why did the employer NOT do everything reasonable in the circumstances to protect the worker as described in section 25, subsection 2(h) of the same act? (OHSA)

Too bad the accident happened first which caused the employer to be reactive instead of being proactive.

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.

 

 

Dan
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