Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Ingredion Canada Incorporated has pleaded guilty and has been fined $150,000 in the death of a worker who was crushed while riding a rail car.
Part of the Ingredion workplace in Port Colborne contains a rail spur owned by the company that allows rail cars access to the facility to be loaded with product (the company is a maker of fructose sweeteners). Two workers are involved in the movement of rail cars at the facility. One worker operates the Track-mobile; the other ensures the path is clear for the moving cars, and is also responsible for engaging and disengaging the hand brake, located at the end of a rail car.
It was a common practice at the time for a worker to ride on the rail car being moved along the spur and through buildings in the facility. It was also standard procedure for a worker to ride on a fixed ladder on the south side of the rail car, where there were no obstructions or clearance issues. This provided visibility of the worker to the operator of the Track-mobile. It was a known requirement at the facility that visual contact be maintained between the two workers moving rail cars. There was no written procedure which dealt with the riding of rail cars.
On November 8, 2013, a worker employed by Ingredion as a process operator was assisting in the movement of a rail car.
The worker was riding on the fixed ladder on the north side of the rail car and had visual contact with the Track-mobile operator. As the rail car moved through the building, the worker struck one of the steel posts below the gangway and was squeezed between the post and the rail car. The worker suffered severe injuries and died ten days later.
Ingredion Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 12 of Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation) were carried out.
Specifically, the clearance between moving rail cars and the stationary posts of the loading platform in the building was not sufficient to ensure that the safety of workers in the area was not endangered, and a worker was killed.
The company was sentenced to a fine of $150,000 by Justice of the Peace Mary Shelley in St. Catharines on December 15, 2015.
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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Ingredion Canada Inc. was found of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 12 which states,
“Clearances between a moving part of any machine or any material carried by the moving part of the machine and any other machine, structure or thing shall be adequate to ensure that the safety of any worker in the area is not endangered.”
Ingredion Canada Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1 (c) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
Here we go again!
No set of working procedures for such an operation. How could anyone be put at such a risk especially around the movement of railcars. The hazards are too numerous to count so why was there not a toolbox meeting prior by the supervisor to discuss the hazards? Oh, I keep forgetting, a hazard assessment was not completed and this particular hazard went unrecognized. At the very least, the Track-mobile operator was in control and should not moved anything until the worker was on the south side of the moving cars where there was not any obstructions or clearance issues.
Simple isn’t it?
Too late for the worker.
Why do many employers still not understand the term, ‘Due Diligence’? Why do they continue to place their workers at risk? There is also a section for the employer to ensure that the supervisor is competent. Section 25, subsections 2 (a) and (c) of the OHSA state,
“An employer shall,
(a) provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker;
(c) when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.”
Sounds to me that the employer has more responsibility on the worksite than they are most often aware of.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer