Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

An Ontario company has been issued eight orders after an elevating work platform being used as a highway expansion project overturned company has been issued, fatally injuring its operator.

On June 24, 2011, the Teranorth Construction and Engineering Limited worker was operating the platform below her bridge structure being built near Shuniah, Ontario, east of Thunder Bay, notes MOL spokesperson Matt Blajer. The platform overturned, causing the worker to fall approximately 10 metres, Blajer says. The worker later succumbed to his injuries.

Staff Sgt. Dan Peters, Cmdr. of the Thunder Bay detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police, identified the worker as Gustavo Argueta. From the preliminary investigation, Peters reports it appears the 24-year-old was operating the scissor lift on “very uneven ground”.

Blair reports that MOL investigators issued five orders against Teranorth Construction and Engineering on the day of the incident, and three more on June 25, 2011.

Among other things, the directives cite the need to do the following:

• refrain from using two lifts pending notice from the MOL,

• Ensure the owner of one of the lifts provide the ministry with copies of maintenance records,

• provide the MOL with training records for both the elevating work platform and the worker’s fall protection system, and

• provide a plan detailing how observations and ceiling work will be done to the underside of the bridge.

My opinion

Scissor lift (self-propelled elevating work platform) training is covered under CSA standard B354.2. The standard provides the information needed for competency training throughout Canada. HRS Group Inc. prides itself with having copies of all applicable legislation necessary to create the programs to meet the competency standards right across Canada. HRS group Inc. can build and provide a program that will meet all legislation requirements in your province.  Our trainers are standing by to help you improve health and safety in the workplace.

By the way, in Ontario, the Ontario Construction’ regulation 213/91, provides information dealing with elevating work platforms. Section 144, subsection 6 gives the applicable standards for the type of elevating work platform you may be using. There are five to choose from please ensure that you have read the appropriate regulation as provided to ensure compliance in Ontario.

Always remember, that your workers must be competent in Ontario to operate the equipment. That includes training, knowledge of the Act and appropriate regulations and complete knowledge of all the associated hazards to do with your training. If the reader is unsure where to find the competency standard in Ontario, please refer to the ‘definition’ section at the beginning of the Occupational Health & Safety Act. The definition of a “competent person” is listed there.

In this case, it is too late for the Teranorth employee. Please do not be a negative statistic and place your workers at risk!

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 ‘Fall Protection’, Elevating Work Platform Certification’ and Working at Heights’. 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 – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.