It has been my pleasure to write many stories on health and safety in the workplace. I have been blessed with much material to choose from and I will continue, God willing, to address occupational health and safety concerns in the workplace.
The reader will note that I spend most of my time in Ontario BUT have a periodic need to address issues in the other provinces as well. There is enough material out there for me to be able to pick and choose the direction of the story at my discretion.
I want to thank all my contacts that have either helped lead me where I need to go or my clients who have been encouraged to contact me with any and all health and safety issues.
I have decided to pick a few of the examples from my experience over the past few years.
Example 1 — A young man enrolled in our forklift (full day) course and related to the class that his employer (to remain nameless) comes out of the office almost once a day to drive the forklift, makes his employee stand on a pallet and takes the employee to the top of a rack to either place material there or to remove something. I could not believe what I was hearing! The student did not understand his rights under the law and his only answer to my diatribe was “You do not know what he is like.” Yes, that may be true, but I understand the law in Ontario and even someone from Alberta would understand this to be an unsafe condition. In the end, I could not get him to call the MOL and request an inspector to intercede on his behalf.
Example 2 — We had a client that had an operator complain about the machine guarding, or lack thereof, concerning the machine he was operating. The company, as a form of harassment or coercion, related that because of the employee’s decision to report this, the employee will be the one to explain to his shift counterparts why they would be immediately laid off and why he would be staying on during the retrofit. This constituted a section 32.0.1 violation and the employer had to change their approach.
Example 3 — Just recently, the health and safety representative of a company contacted HRS Group Inc. concerning his employer’s lack of safety concerns over defective forklifts. Section 25, subsection 1(b) states “the equipment provide by the employer must be maintained in good condition.” The H&S rep., for the company, reported that the forklifts had little or no brakes and and the park brake had to be deployed to stop the vehicle. The advice given was to contact the MOL emergency hot-line and to file an official complaint. This action would drive the MOL to send out an inspector to fix the problem and lay fines if necessary. The notification by the H&S rep. drove the company to lease two new vehicles right away. The official complaint was withdrawn and the issue rectified.
Example 3 — There has been much made about ‘propane handling and exchange’ record of training issues. The city of Peterborough had a member of the TSSA (the watchdog for propane safety, among other things) notice, while on inspection, a faint odor coming from a forklift. He then went over to review the equipment and found a frosted connection at the intake and appliance connection. This revealed a liquid propane leak, one that could very well leave a severe frost burn to the employee if they grabbed a hold of the frosted fitting with bare hands. A stop work order was initiated and training was required for all employees whether forklift drivers or zamboni drivers. I was able to finish two classes of over 110 students.
Example 4 — The new legislation for harassment and violence came into law as of June 15, 2010. I was fortunate enough to have been at a company that employed a maintenance manager with a very LOUD disposition. In other words, this manager yelled at everyone and was informed right away that the new law was in effect and he would have to tone it down a bit. The last I heard, this gentleman was to have been enrolled in anger management courses.
The 250th blog posting is a big accomplishment for me and HRS Group in general. I was given a free hand in the material and frequency of the posts. The negative feedback was minimal at best and I would say I received 1 comment in 100 as a negative review. As well, there are over 40,000 registered comments on the blog. I have to say that I have deleted at least 20,000 more as I do not have the time to answer and edit them all. I did edit all of them before when it was a manageable thing but, to put it in perspective, I recently took 4 days off to complete more of my course at university and there were 2,600 comments waiting for me when I returned. There are just not enough hours in the day for me to keep up. I have decided to save 150 each day and delete the rest. Even that is a load of work in itself.
I would like to thank the readership for making my blog one of the most read blogs, in health and safety, on the world wide web.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer