Found in the Government of Ontario Newsroom

Lafarge Canada Inc., a manufacturer of construction material, pleaded guilty today to a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) that caused the death of a worker. The company was fined $350,000.

On August 27, 2008, workers at the company’s cement plant in Ernestown were lining the inside of a kiln with new bricks. To install bricks on the ceiling of the kiln, the workers used a special rig. The rig was composed of a work platform mounted on four legs with an overhead arch to hold up bricks. As the workers advanced the rig along the sloping kiln floor, they had to adjust its legs to keep the work platform level. As the rig was being adjusted, its platform lurched forward. The workers who had been on the platform fell, as did the rig’s arch. The arch, weighing over 400 kilograms, landed on one of the workers, fatally crushing him.

ection 25 and 26 of the OHSA are quite explicit on the responsibilities of employers. The following blog deals with section 25, subsection 1 only. A separate blog(s) will be posted at a later date to deal with section 25, subsection 2 as well as section 26.

Section 25, subsection 1, ‘An employer shall ensure that’,
a) The equipment, materials and protective devices as prescribed are provided,
b) The equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition,
c) The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace,
d) The equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are used as prescribed, and
e) A floor, roof, wall, pillar, support or other part of a workplace is capable of supporting all loads to which it may be subjected to without causing the materials therein to be stressed beyond the
allowable unit stresses established under the ‘The Building Code’.

The main reason accidents occur in or around ‘Confined Spaces’is because a PLAN has not been developed, by the employer, per the regulations. The company must answer the following question,

What is a Confined Space?

A ‘Confined Space’ means a fully or partially enclosed space,
(a) that is not both designed and constructed for continuous human occupancy, and
(b) in which atmospheric hazards may occur because of its construction, location or contents or because of work that is done in it.

Ontario Regulation 632/05

The plan shall contains provisions for,
a) The duties of workers
b) Co-ordination document (section on lead employers)
c) On-site rescue procedures
d) Rescue equipment and methods of communication
e) Clothing and personal equipment and devices
f) Isolation of energy and control of materials movement
g) Attendants
h) Adequate means for entering and exiting
i) Atmospheric testing
j) Ventilation and purging
k) The Permit