Blog Post #215 – Wal-Mart Canada Corp. Fined $120,000 for Two Separate Health and Safety Violations

Blog Post #215 – Wal-Mart Canada Corp. Fined $120,000 for Two Separate Health and Safety Violations

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Wal-Mart Canada Corp., a Mississauga-based company, was fined $45,000 on June 23, 2010, and $75,000 on July 16, 2010, for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

On September 27, 2008, a worker was using a forklift outside the store at 35 Mapleview Drive in Barrie, to place skids of bottled water in the main entrance. The forklift struck a customer, causing injuries to the customer’s feet.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the worker did not have full view of the forklift path of travel and its load.

Wal-Mart Canada Corp. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that where the operator of material handling equipment does not have a full view of the intended path of travel of the equipment or its load, the material handling equipment shall only be operated as directed by a signaller who is a competent person and who is stationed in full view of the operator with a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle and its load.

On January 19, 2009, a worker employed by Wal-Mart at 102 Primeway Drive in Welland climbed a ladder to get approximately five boxes of toys from a shelf. The worker then began to climb back down with the boxes held in one arm. The worker missed a step at the bottom of the ladder and fell, suffering arm injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the worker carried the boxes in such a way that his or her safety was endangered by not keeping the required level of contact with the ladder.

Wal-Mart Canada Corp. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that materials required to be lifted, carried or moved were lifted, carried or moved in a way that did not endanger the safety of any worker.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Gerry Solursh in Barrie on June 23, 2010, and Justice of the Peace Bruce Phillips in St. Catharines on July 16, 2010. In addition to the fines, 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.

The law(s) in contravention,

Wal-Mart Canada Corporation was found guilty of violating section 56 of the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851 which states,

“Where the operator of a vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment does not have a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment or its load, the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment shall only be operated as directed by a signaller who is a competent person and who is stationed,

a) In full view of the operator,
b) With a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load, and
c) Clear of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load.”

Wal-Mart Canada Corporation was found guilty of violating section 45(a) of the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851 which states,

“Material, articles or things,

a) Required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with precautions and safeguards, including protective clothing, guards or other precautions as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker.”

My opinion,

The reader needs to know that these events happened at 2 separate stores. The first incident happened at a store in Barrie, Ontario and the second occurred at a Welland store. Regardless, Wal-Mart Canada has to be found guilty and responsible for everything its stores have gone wrong. As the owner/employer, Wal-Mart has to be accountable for everything that goes in its stores and the corporate health and safety policies must come in to question.

No one is above the law!

I do hope that Wal-Mart Canada develops a proper ‘health and safety’ corporate policy and enforces that policy at the store level. The corporate ‘health and safety’ coordinator can do unscheduled inspections of the stores just to make sure that they are listening and ensuring that the store(s) are safer for the customers as well as the employees. I hope this was included in Wal-Mart’s permanent corrective action plan. I would suggest that ‘Fall Protection’ training be added as a safety requirement. 3-point contact on a ladder is a must and the only way to commit to 3-point contact is to have one’s hands free for climbing.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRSGroup Inc.

Dan
Share

10 Comments

  1. Robert Johnson

    Wow, wonderful weblog structure!

  2. Erik

    I think your posting was very helpful to me, thanks for that.

  3. John

    Excellent post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  4. Bud

    May you suggest in regards to your post that you made a few days ago?

  5. Ken Bernardo

    I am really impressed along with your writing talents as well as with the structure to your weblog.

  6. Kyle Pelligra

    Great, thanks for sharing this blog post.

  7. Charles Leckband

    I think this is a real great post.

  8. Richard

    I have read so many of your articles.

  9. Melody

    Thank you a lot for sharing this.

  10. Kathleen

    Thanks!

Post a comment