Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A worker, employed by Multivans Inc. of Bolton, Ontario, on March 11, 2017, suffered critical injuries while using an angle grinder.
A worker was assembling a steel support frame for the bottom of a truck body. This involved cutting off two steel beams at an angle, using a grinder. This task is called “hot work” – that is, work that could produce a source of ignition, such as a spark or open flame.
While cutting the steel beam, the worker felt burning. Sparks produced during the cutting had caught the worker’s clothes on fire. The four shirts and arm protectors the worker was wearing were burned. The worker was hospitalized.
A Ministry of Labour inspector investigated the incident and determined that Multivans had not provided the worker with the proper fire-resistant apparel to be worn while performing hot work.
Multivans failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed section 84 of the regulation were complied with at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the OHSA. This is an offence pursuant to section 66(1) of the act.
Following a guilty plea, the company was fined $60,000 by Justice of the Peace Stephen C. Budaci in Caledon court; Crown Counsel Judy L. Chan.
The court also 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:
Multivans Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ sector regulation 851/90, section 84 which states,
“A worker exposed to the hazard of injury from contact of the worker’s skin with,
(a) a noxious gas, liquid, fume or dust;
(b) a sharp or jagged object which may puncture, cut or abrade the worker’s skin;
(c) a hot object, hot liquid or molten metal; or
(d) radiant heat,
shall be protected by,
(e) wearing apparel sufficient to protect the worker from injury; or
(f) a shield, screen or similar barrier,
appropriate in the circumstances.”
This is contrary to section 25, subsection 1(c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
A ‘Hot Work’ procedure have to exist, in written form, and must be used each time Hot Work is to be done. In a Confined Space, there has to be a Hot Work Permit issued that guarantees the LELs are below 5. That means the Air Monitoring Protocols have to be in place as well.
A JHA (Job Hazard Assessment or Analysis) would have gone a long way to identify, assess and control the hazard before anyone gets hurt.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. (Including Hot Work)
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.