Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’
Atlas Concrete Accessories Ltd. pleaded guilty and was fined $60,000 on January 13, 2010, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured. Director Mohammed Ally also pleaded guilty and was fined $5,000.
On July 14, 2008, a worker at the company’s metal stamping shop in Toronto was greasing the gears of a machine while it was in motion. The worker’s hand got caught in the gears and was partially amputated.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the guard preventing access to the gears had been removed two weeks earlier, at the director’s request, because the machine was overheating.
Atlas Concrete Accessories Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the machine was adequately guarded. Mohammed Ally pleaded guilty to the same.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Alice Napier. 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:
Atlas Concrete Accessories Ltd., was found guilty of a violation of section 25 of the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,
“An in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point.
Under ‘Machine Guarding’ in the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, sections 24 to section 44.2 have different areas of concerns when dealing with this particular issue. Section 25 is focused when dealing with the apparent nip hazard and the awareness of said hazard. All ‘Nip’ hazards have to be identified and controls need to be in place prior to any worker is in the vicinity of the hazard. This is another component to running a company that ‘Management’ has to understand.
Health and safety in the workplace MUST be incorporated into the design phase of the business. A company with a good safety record develops the safety programs at the beginning phase of the business and continues to improve on the standard on an on-going timetable.
Atlas Concrete Accessories Ltd., was fortunate not to have received more fines. Mr. Ally was fortunate not to have received another fine for the contravention of section 32 of the OHSA which states,
Every director and every officer of a corporation shall take all reasonable care to ensure that the corporation complies with,
a) This ACT and the regulations
b) Orders and requirements of inspectors and Directors, and
c) Orders of the Minister
Ignorance of the law is no defense. Mr. Ally, as well as any director or officer of a company should make himself/herself aware of the OHSA and the appropriate regulations prior to the attempt of running any company in the province of Ontario.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need including ‘Machine Guarding’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.