Blog Post #1033 – Logistics Company Fined $75,000 After Worker Suffers Permanent Injury

Blog Post #1033 – Logistics Company Fined $75,000 After Worker Suffers Permanent Injury

Excerpt from the Ontario government’s ‘Newsroom’

A Pickering employer pleaded guilty and was fined $75,000 after a worker suffered a permanent injury while operating a reach truck in a warehouse facility.

The incident took place on May 10, 2016, at Aspect Retail Logistics Inc., located at 1400 Church Street in Pickering. Aspect carries on business providing logistics services out of its Pickering facility.

A worker was operating a reach truck in the main receiving aisle and was attempting to make a left turn while approaching the end of the aisle. The worker lost control of the reach truck and struck a wall. There were no witnesses to the incident; however, it is believed that the reach truck may have slipped on water left behind on the floor by floor-scrubbing equipment. As a result of the collision, the worker suffered a permanent injury.

The floor where the worker was injured was not kept free of obstructions, as required by regulation. This is contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Ronald Prestage in Whitby court on September 21, 2017.

The court also 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Aspect Retail Logistics Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 11 which states,

“A floor or other surface used by any worker shall,

(a) be kept free of,

(i) obstructions,

(ii) hazards, and

(iii) accumulations of refuse, snow or ice; and

(b) not have any finish or protective material used on it that is likely to make the surface slippery.”

Aspect Retail Logistics Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

And finally,

Aspect Retail Logistics Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the OHSA, section 66(1) which states,

“Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with,

(a) a provision of this Act or the regulations;

(b) an order or requirement of an inspector or a Director; or

(c) an order of the Minister,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than twelve months, or to both.”

Since there were no witnesses, this is a hard one to judge. The report does not discuss the quality of the forklift training and the experience of the driver. I was surprised to see that a main aisle was the site of the incident/accident because of the tight turning ratio of a Class II forklift and the main aisles usually have a lot of room to maneuver. The only way I can see this happening was that the driver was NOT experienced or the shop culture was one of passive safety. The driver had to have been going at an excessive speed not to be able to keep control, especially in wet conditions.

This is one of those I feel the employer was not entirely at fault. Maybe, section 28, subsection 2(b) was in contravention. It states,

“No worker shall,

(b) use or operate any equipment, machine, device or thing or work in a manner that may endanger himself, herself or any other worker.”

Again, just my opinion.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259. We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

Dan
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