Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Hubert Sabourin Inc., an Alexandria, ON metal fabricator, was fined $100,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed.

On March 2, 2011, a worker at the company’s Alexandria facility was in the yard measuring an empty container. The container was third in a row of four. As the worker was taking measurements, a second worker used a forklift to retrieve the first container in the row. This caused the other containers to bang up against each other. The first worker’s head was caught between the third and fourth containers and the worker died of severe head trauma.

Hubert Sabourin Inc. was found guilty of failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker on the dangers of working in the yard where there is vehicular traffic.

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

Hubert Sabourin Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, sub-section 2(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall,

(a) provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

Where was his supervisor? Why was there not a set of SOPs which would include safety as part of the program? Where was the spotter? Was the supervisor competent to know that the hazard existed?

I was totally blown away when I read this one. The worker need not have died if the company and supervisor had taken the time to reduce or eliminate the risk prior to anyone doing the work. Why put someone at risk when, with a little planning, everyone at the site could have been better protected.

Why do changes happen ONLY after someone dies?

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’, ‘Forklift Re-Certification’ and ‘Due Diligence’. 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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