Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Wescast Industries Inc., a manufacturer of vehicle exhaust systems, has been fined $110,000 after a worker sustained arm and head injuries in a fall at the company’s Strathroy plant.

On January 11, 2011, a worker was operating an elevating work platform called a Skyjack scissor lift to perform maintenance on a ventilation system when the Skyjack tipped over. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that a tire on the Skyjack drove into an opening in a coolant collection trough, causing the machine to tip over.

The court found that Wescast failed to ensure that the worksite floor was free from the obstruction or hazard of an uncovered opening in the trough, and failed to ensure that a grate for the trough was secured in place. The injured worker suffered a fracture in the arm and head injuries as a result of the incident.

Wescast was found guilty after a trial on July 11, 2013 and has been fined $110,000 by Justice of the Peace Anna Hampson in the Provincial Offices Court in London. The company was also ordered to pay 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:

Wescast Industries Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 11 which states,

“A floor or other surface used by any worker shall,

(a) be kept free of,

(i) obstructions,
(ii) hazards, and
(iii) accumulations of refuse, snow or ice; and

(b) not have any finish or protective material used on it that is likely to make the surface slippery.

Wescast Industries Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of section 15 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“A cover on an opening in a floor, roof or other surface shall be,

(a) secured in place; and
(b) constructed to meet the structural requirements for loads due to the use of floors and roofs as set out in the Building Code.”

As well, Wescast was found guilty of a contravention of section 25 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), subsection 1 (c) which states,

The employer shall ensure that,

“The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

I believe enough has been said on the subject. The floor has to have no obstructions and any cover must be secured in place. The floor cannot have a slippery surface to further harm the worker.

All things being equal, we find the employer in dire need or a class of Basic Certification, level 1, as a precursor to further understanding of issues in the workplace. HRS Group Inc. can have a class at our location or can travel anywhere in Ontario to better serve you. It it your choice and you will certainly be glad you chose HRS Group Inc. for all your health and safety concerns.

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.