Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Accuristix, Inc. of Oakville, Ontario, a company which provides services to the healthcare industry, suffered a critical injury while performing work at the Woodbridge warehouse.

On October 18, 2019 a worker employed by Accuristix, Inc., was operating a stand-up forklift without authorization from the company.

This employee drove toward another worker on a stationary rider forklift to hand him an electronic scanner. The second worker suffered a critical injury when stepping off the rider forklift. The driver of the stand-up forklift had received health and safety instruction and training annually.

The safety training stated that unlicensed employees were prohibited from operating motorized material handling equipment, and that an operator should never drive motorized material handling equipment toward a pedestrian standing in front of a fixed object.

It was found that Accuristix, Inc., failed as an employer to ensure the forklift causing the injury was operated by a competent person.

Following a guilty plea in the Ontario Court of Justice, Provincial Offences Court, Newmarket, Accuristix, Inc., was fined $70,000.

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:

Accuristix Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ sector regulation 851/90, section 51, subsection 2(i) which states,

A lifting device shall be operated,

(a) only by,

(i) a competent person,

This is contrary to section 25, subsection 1(c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

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

HRS Group Inc. is a very busy health and safety trainer. We ensure that section 51, stating “Competency”, is included in the full day theory training. The CSA standard B335-15, (Reaffirmed in 2020) as well as the Ministry’s “Guideline for the Safe Operation of Powered Lift Trucks” are both used in the 8-hour theory portion of the training.

This failure by Accuristix was due to the fact that the Class 2, Lift Code 3 reach-type forklift is a difficult one to learn. A practical portion of the training can be as much as 8 hours per machine. But, NO ONE can use a machine if not deemed “Competent”.

By the way, The MOL’s legal definition of “Competency” is as follows;

“competent person” means a person who,

(a)  is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,

(b)  is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and

(c)  has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.

This definition is always the lead in our Lift Truck, EWP and Overhead Crane training. If it is not in yours, I would ask, “Why not?”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Forklift Certification’ and ‘Forklift Re-Certification’.

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”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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