Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Woodbridge Pallet Ltd., a Woodbridge-based pallet manufacturing and repair company, was fined $50,000 on August 17, 2012, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On July 20, 2010, a Woodbridge Pallet employee was painting pallets in the workplace’s paint department. The worker began walking across the floor area to retrieve some paint when a counter-balance forklift carrying a load of pallets struck the worker. The worker suffered leg and arm injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the forklift operator – when moving forward – could not see the other worker because the pallets on the forks obstructed the operator’s forward view.

Woodbridge Pallet Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to move materials in a way that would not endanger any workers.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Linda DeBartolo. 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:

Woodbridge Pallet Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of 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.”

Woodbridge Pallet Ltd. was also found guilty of violating section 45 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 951/90 which states,

“Material, articles or things,

(a) required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards, including protective clothing, guards or other precautions as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker;

(b) shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things,
(i) will not tip, collapse or fall, and
(ii) can be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of any worker.”

I felt that section 56 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation could have easily been used. It states,

“Where the operator of a vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment does not have a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment or its load, the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment shall only be operated as directed by a signaller who is a competent person and who is stationed,

(a) in full view of the operator;
(b) with a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load; and
(c) clear of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load.”

Any time an operator is to move material and does not have a complete view of the intended path of travel then his/her training kicked in and a spotter was to be added. Here the issue would never have happened if the operator had taken a moment and asked for some help.

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 ‘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

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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