Excerpt from the Government of Ontario ‘Newsroom’
Arriscraft International GPT Limited, a Cambridge maker of masonry building products, was fined $70,000 on July 21, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.
On August 30, 2007, a worker was operating a machine that processes calcium silicate building stones. One stone needed adjusting. In doing this manually, the worker suffered severe hand injuries.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Arriscraft did not create and implement a formal policy for safely operating the machine.
Arriscraft International GPT Limited pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing, as an employer, to take every precaution reasonable for the protection of the worker.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Gay. In addition to the fine, the court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, 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:
Arriscraft International GPT Limited was convicted under section 25, subsection 2(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, which states,
“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”
To me, there is nothing more sacred for the employer to do than to put the health and safety of the employee first. How can profits stand in front of safety? Corporate profits will cease to exist if the employer takes a poor approach to protect their workers as can be seen here.
The employer should have reviewed the safe operating procedures as provided by the manufacturer in the instruction manual. The manufacturer’s, for the past while, have included safe handling procedures and proper safe practices as a separate section in their manual. The MOL, if they do not have a guideline, standard or code to deal with, will almost always request, to the employer, if they actually were following those safe practices as laid out in the manual and incorporated those safe practices into their company policy. NO, too bad! You are guilty.
And, by the way, the next step is to make sure the supervisor enforce those changes on behalf of the employer or he/she will be in violation of section 27, subsection 1(a) and the employer will be in violation of section 25, subsection 2(c).
Take the time to look up the last two and you will totally understand the depth of responsibility the employer, the supervisor have to protect their workers.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.