Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’
Aaroc Aggregates Limited, a London operator of four mining pits, was fined $65,000 on August 13, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.
On February 21, 2008, a worker was breaking down frozen material on the surface of a gravel stockpile with an excavator. A large amount of material broke free and hit the side of the excavator’s boom and cab, injuring the worker’s foot.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Aaroc did not address the hazards of removing frozen material from the stockpile.
Aaroc Aggregates Limited pleaded guilty under the OHSA of failing, as an employer, to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of that worker.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert T. Gay. In addition to the fine, the court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, 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:
Aaroc Aggregates Ltd. was convicted for a contravention of section 25 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, subsection 2(a) which states,
“An employer shall provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker.”
How much easier can it get! Aaroc Aggregates Ltd. should have made their supervisor initiate a ‘toolbox’ meeting, one that would spelled out all the important things about the day’s work. This would have been the perfect time to discuss any problems and make the employee aware of the dangers concerning the removal of frozen material.
If the supervisor does not know the hazards associated with the removal of the frozen material then the company is in violation of section 25, subsection 2 (c) which states,
“The employer shall when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.”
For those unaware of the definition of competency under the ACT I have listed the requirements below:
1) You need to have the knowledge, training and experience to organize the work;
2) You need to know the ACT and regulations that apply; and
3) You need to know the hazards associated with whatever training you receive
As you can see, the MOL requires that training be given to go along with the experience to make for a better and safer employee. If you are not aware of all the hazards associated with your work then there is a large chance that you can become injured or killed. Training in this area would eliminate a large risk factor and the workplace would be safer for it.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.