Blog Post #886 – Wal-Mart Canada Fined $60,000 After Worker Exposed to Tripping Hazard

Blog Post #886 – Wal-Mart Canada Fined $60,000 After Worker Exposed to Tripping Hazard

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Wal-Mart Canada Corporation has been found guilty and fined $60,000 after a worker at the company’s Brampton Super Centre fell and suffered injuries from a tripping hazard.

On September 20, 2013 at the store, located at 70 Coventry Road in Brampton, a worker who usually performed maintenance or janitorial tasks was asked to off-load a pallet of paper onto a pallet jack, or pump truck. The worker was walking backward, tripped on an empty pallet on the floor and fell. The worker complained about injury to a hand and to the head, and called in sick the next day. The worker did not return to work and passed away in hospital two weeks after the incident.

A Ministry of Labour inspector attended the scene on October 4, 2013 after receiving word of an industrial accident.

After three days at trial, Wal-Mart Canada Corporation was found guilty of violating Section 11 of Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation), which states that a floor or other surface used by any worker shall be kept free of obstructions and hazards.

The judge released her decision on May 6, 2016 and imposed a fine of $60,000 on June 2, 2016.

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:

Walmart was found guilty of a contravention of the 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.”

Walmart 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.”

This is not the first time I have written up a report that concerned Walmart.(read blog post #338) In fact, there are similarities between this report and others concerning Walmart. One glaring similarity is their zeal to fight each and every charge. Mind you, $60,000 is not must of a deterrent of a fine for a company the size of Walmart.

I would also wager that they will not filter down any of the fine and internal report to other stores. If they did,  I would certainly be surprised.

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’, ‘Slips, Trips and Falls’ 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.

Dan
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