Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Parmalat Canada Inc., a Canada-wide producer of milk and dairy products, fruit juices and table spreads, has been fined $290,000 after pleading guilty to safety violations that led to the death of a worker.

On October 25, 2012, a Parmalat worker entered a mobile sales truck parked on the grounds of the company’s facility at 16 Shaftsbury Lane in Brampton to purchase safety shoes. By the time the worker emerged to walk back inside the building, a tractor trailer being driven by a subcontractor had entered the grounds and had stopped beside the mobile sales truck. The tractor trailer’s driver then began to reverse into an adjacent loading dock and the tractor trailer struck the Parmalat worker. The injured worker succumbed to the subsequent injuries.

Parmalat Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were carried out, and was fined $290,000.

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:

Parmalat Canada Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 56 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“Where the operator of a vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment does not have a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment or its load, the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment shall only be operated as directed by a signaler who is a competent person and who is stationed,

(a) In full view of the operator;

(b) With a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load; and

(c) Clear of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load.”

Parmalat Canada Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

This accident was hard to take for me as the shipping dock procedures are a mainstay at most industrial settings. I worked one one when I was a young man. The shipper/receiver must ensure that the trailers are fixed, brakes on and wheels chocked prior to entry. In this case, we find that the area was a tight-fitting one and there was a need to have a spotter because of the tight space. This should have been written up, included and discussed before any trailer was to be received. Yes, I understand this was a special case, (Boot Truck) but Parmalat needed, as an employer, to see this and place signs and/or control the traffic in that area when the workers are entering that particular area.

Section 56 of the ‘Industrial’ regulation covers not only shipping areas but elevating work platforms, forklifts and cranes. Since this is a definite section that applied to this workplace then it should have been incorporated into the job and safe written work instructions would have been the best way to do this.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place. Read the OHSA and the appropriate ‘sector’ regulation that apply to you. You are your employees will be glad you did.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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