Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Con Cast Pipe Inc., a Guelph manufacturer of concrete infrastructure products, was fined $55,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On August 24, 2010, workers were pouring concrete into a steel form. One worker was standing beside the form and using a remote control to operate an overhead crane to pour buckets of concrete into the form. Without warning, one side of the steel form detached and fell on the worker. The worker suffered multiple fractures and a punctured lung.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the welds used to hold the form together were inadequate to resist the weight of the wet concrete being poured into the form.

Con Cast Pipe Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that the form was designed and constructed to resist all loads and forces which were likely to be applied to it.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Adriana Magoulas. In addition to the fine, 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Con Cast Pipe Inc. was found guilty of violating section 25, subsection 2(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

As an instructor for Basic Certification, Level 1, (HRS Group Inc. is an approved provider) I always ensure that the classes understand section 25 and 26 of the ACT.

It is my responsibility that the employer’s responsibilities are laid out to both the certified worker representative and to the certified management representative as well. Too many safety people do not have a full grasp about the onus placed on to the employers as spelled out in these two sections and the employer ends up getting caught as an accident occurs because of one of the following;

1) a control to a hazard is not there
2) a control is not in place since the hazard has not been identified
3) a control to a hazard has been ignored, or
4) the employees have not received training and supervision concerning the hazard

Please ensure that your health and safety committee is listened to and take the suggestions for corrective action very seriously. I cannot stress this enough as the alternative is a heavy fine and a tarnished reputation and the understanding that an employee did not have to die or get seriously hurt since the employer had the answer right in his/her hand.

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’, ‘Overhead Crane Operator Competency’ 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 – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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