Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A window and door manufacturer in Concord pleaded guilty and was fined $150,000 after one worker died and another was injured by material that fell from a work station.
The company, FranCar 2000 Inc., manufactures window walls and doors for high-rise condominiums, office buildings and hotels across North America. It operates a facility located at 330 Applewood Crescent in Concord.
On March 1, 2015, two workers were in the process of adding vent sashes to windows that were taken off the assembly line and placed on a large free-standing work station, called an easel, in the work area. The easel was used for window assembly and an area at the back of the easel had become a location for storage of extra and loose material; horizontal bars had been added to the back of the one easel and some extra or loose material could be leaned against it. During the course of the day, workers placed a volume of these materials behind the easel. The easel began to tip over.
One worker was struck by the easel and pushed away from the direction of its fall. The easel continued to fall over, striking a second worker who was also in the area, knocking the worker to the ground. The easel and the material stored behind it landed on top of the second worker.
As a result of being struck by the easel, the first worker suffered injury. The second worker died as a result of crushing injuries from the weight of the easel and material.
The Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the back of the easel had been used as a storage location for some materials for a number of years prior to the incident, and the additional weight of the material added on that day, against and behind the easel, caused it to tip and fall
Court was told that the company has taken a number of steps to guard against similar incidents, which includes securing easels to the floor, hiring health and safety coordinators to supplement existing safety staff, a health and safety engineering review and putting into place detailed workplace-specific procedures.
FranCar 2000 Inc. was fined $150,000 by Justice of the Peace Karen Walker in Newmarket court on February 3, 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.
The law(s) in contravention,
FranCar 2000 Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 45, subsection (b)(i) which states,
“Material, articles or things,
(b) shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things,
(i) will not tip, collapse or fall.”
FranCar 2000 Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention 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.”
A complete JHA (Job Hazard Assessment or Analysis) MUST be completed before any work is to be done. There have to be written work instructions that include this hazard recognition and the identification of the hazard control that was to be implemented.
Does the reader notice that this manufacturer became very reactive and completed the things needed prior to any work being done? The hiring of a safety professional, long term or short term, can be a benefit to any company, especially those affiliated with the Canadian Society of Safety Engineers (CSSE). Their code of ethics is of the highest standards and I am glad to say that HRS Group Inc. has been affiliated with the CSSE for over 15 years. Our staff stands ready to aid your company in any and all health and safety concerns.
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.