Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Cascades Canada ULC, a multinational packaging and tissue company operating as Cascade Tissue Group – Toronto, was fined $80,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On June 24, 2011, at the company’s facility in Toronto, a worker returning to the receiving area from break was struck by a forklift carrying a large roll of paper. The worker’s leg was injured. The worker was not wearing a safety vest and there were no barriers in the receiving area to protect workers from forklift traffic. Furthermore, the only sign warning of vehicular traffic was posted at the plant’s gatehouse lobby.

Cascades Canada ULC operating as Cascade Tissue Group – Toronto pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that materials were transported in a way and with appropriate precautions to protect the safety of a worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Ronald Johnston. 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:

Cascade Canada ULC was found guilty of a contravention of section 45 (a) of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 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.”

Here we have an employee not paying attention when returning from break. He/she had probably completed this hundreds of times but complacency ruled the day. He/she was not paying attention and was struck by a forklift operator who also was not watching what he/she was doing.

I am glad the company received the fine but they easily could have avoided the issue is they had trained the supervisor in all things ‘safety’ and set up procedures to enhance their safety protection of their workforce. HRS Group Inc. supplies both in-class supervisory training as well as on-line. Whatever your preference, you can help your own cause, (and reputation) by setting up proper training.

Safety hazards can be found during a hazard assessment. The risks could have been identified and possible controls could have been in place. I bet there are now!

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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