Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Amhil Enterprises Ltd., a Burlington manufacturer of plastic products, was fined $55,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On June 29, 2010, at the company’s Mississauga facility, a supervisor and two workers were clearing a jam in a machine. The machine was not locked out to prevent it from re-energizing. When the supervisor left to get assistance, one of the workers put a hand into an opening in the machine and part of the worker’s hand was severed.

The company had a general lock out policy, but it did not have a written policy for the lockout and tagout this particular machine.

Amhil Enterprises Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of having a written policy for the lock out and tag out of the machine.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Barnes. 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:

Amhil Enterprises Ltd., was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, sub-section 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 the worker.”

Again, we find section 25, sub-section 2(h) of the OHSA is being used again. Actually, I was surprised that section 42 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851 that covers ‘Lockout and Tagout’. In other words, Amhil could have easily been charged and convicted of other sections and may have received a substantially larger fine. I am not saying they deserved a larger fine but the opportunity was there and the Justice of the Peace must have felt the fine adequate.

There are so many things that could go wrong and this section of the ACT, as well as the appropriate sector regulations, can be used to handle any situation. Please review the sector regulation that apply to your company and review the ACT for all the responsibilities that you may have as an employer, a supervisor or a worker.

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 ‘Lockout and Tagout’. 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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