Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Holmes Tire Inc., a commercial tire supplier, was fined $75,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed. Michael Holmes, the worker’s supervisor and president of the company, was fined $10,000 in relation to the same incident.

On July 8, 2011, a worker was replacing a tire on an excavator at a customer’s workplace in Erin. The worker used two jacks to lift the rear of the excavator, with at least one jack on a wooden block. There were no other stands supporting the vehicle. While the worker was under the excavator, it tipped off the jacks, fatally crushing the worker.

Holmes Tire Inc. pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that the excavator was securely and solidly blocked to prevent it from moving or falling on the worker. Michael Holmes pleaded guilty to failing, as a supervisor, to ensure the same.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace A. James Child. In addition to the fines, 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:

Holmes Tire Inc. as well as the President of the company, Michael Holmes, was found guilty of a contravention of section 74 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“Machinery, equipment or material that is temporarily elevated and under which a worker may pass or work shall be securely and solidly blocked to prevent the machinery, equipment or material from falling or moving.”

I was deeply disturbed that this type of accident actually happened. Where was the safety factor? Where were the SOPs to deal with the operation? The employer was to ensure that all the needed equipment to complete the job safely was to be present. Where was it?

All these questions should have been asked and answered prior to the actual operation.

I was very surprised that the fine was as low as it was. I could name about 3 other sections of the ACT and regulations that were violated here.

Of course, that is no consolation to the worker’s grieving family. I wonder if it is high enough to become an adequate deterrent. I guess we will never know.

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 ‘Machine Guarding’ 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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