Found in the Government of Ontario Newsroom
Lafarge Canada Inc., a manufacturer of construction material, pleaded guilty way back on January 20, 2010 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.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that a manufacturer’s sign on the rig prohibited workers from staying on the rig as it was being moved. The company did not have a written policy or clearly planned procedures for moving and adjusting the rig on the sloping floor of the kiln.
Lafarge Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring no worker was on the platform of the rig as it was being moved or adjusted.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace John Doran. 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.
Lafarge Paving & Construction Ltd, received a $325,000 fine for a single violation in connection with the death of a labourer on May 15, 2006. (Confined Space Entry) Since then, they have instituted change at all their facilities with appropriate awareness training for CSE.
Lafarge has come a long way in the health and safety business. They have many of their 18 facilities worldwide on the path to worker health and safety in the workplace. Kudos go to Lafarge for making worker safety a top priority.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer