Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
The City of Toronto pleaded guilty and has been fined $60,000 for safety violations at the Toronto Police Marine Unit premises.
On or about February 5, 2017, the Ministry of Labour was notified of an incident involving a worker employed by a heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor. The contractor was performing work at the marine unit at 259 Queens Quay West, which is owned by the city. The worker had been using a fixed ladder to access the mechanical area of the building on the fourth floor at the marine unit.
It was determined that the fixed ladder being used by the worker, which was situated between the fourth floor mechanical area and third floor boiler room, was not equipped with a cage around the ladder as required by either section 18(1)(d) of Ontario Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishment Regulations), or section 84(1)(d) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 (the Construction Projects Regulation). The regulations have similar wording about fixed ladders.
As such, the City of Toronto failed as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures required by either regulation were carried out. This is contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
Court was told that while an injury occurred in this matter, the injuries are not causally connected to the violation, and that this matter is being treated as a no-accident, no-injury contravention.
Justice of the Peace Jane Hawtin accepted the guilty plea and imposed a fine of $60,000 in Toronto court on September 28, 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.
The law(s) in contravention
The City of Toronto was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishment regulation 851/90, Section 18(1)(d) which states,
The Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 84, subsection 1(d) which states,
an access ladder fixed in position,
(d) where the ladder extends over five metres, above grade, floor or landing, have a safety cage commencing not more than 2.2 metres above grade, floor or landing and continuing at least ninety centimetres above the top landing with openings to permit access by a worker to rest platforms or to the top landing;
This is in direct 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.”
This is a first for me. This is the first time, that I can remember, that the Ministry of Labour (MOL) has used an either/or legislation to convict an employer for a contravention. This is also the first time I have heard the term no accident, no injury contravention.
As this is going to be a post #1037, I have to say that the MOL is getting creative in its use of terms when dealing with contraventions of the OHSA or the sector regulations.
I am impressed.
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‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.