Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

The Town of Bracebridge has been fined $50,000 for a violation of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after a young worker was injured while maintaining a hiking trail.

On August 31, 2011, three workers employed for the summer by the town’s public works department were installing drainage culverts and adding gravel to the Wilson’s Falls Trail.

One of the workers was operating a tractor with a front-end loader attachment and carrying a load of gravel. While driving the tractor down an incline, the worker lost control of the tractor and its load. The tractor rolled over and pinned the worker by the leg, resulting in multiple fractures.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the worker lost control of the tractor and its load because of the weight being carried by the raised bucket and the incline it was travelling on. The Town of Bracebridge pleaded guilty to failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker on the safe lifting capacity for the tractor.

Judgment as to the sentence took place on November 19, 2013. The fine of $50,000 was imposed by Ontario Provincial Court Justice of the Peace Sue Evans.

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:

The town of Bracebridge was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 2(a) of the OHSA which states,

“An employer shall,

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

Just think what a little more information could be in the protection of the worker. Think about a worker being better supervised or a worker feeling like his/her employer is looking out for his/her best interest? What a wonderful world that would be!

We are moving closer to a very safe worksite but we still have a ways to go. Every employer should read sections 25 and 26 of the OHSA and the employer’s front line supervisor should become familiar with section 27 of the OHSA. Only then will the worker have a fairly safe start in the working world because the bosses have the information needed to build a safe business in Ontario.
What future this is going to be! The MOL will take care of this, they always do!

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 ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. 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.