Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A young worker died after a transport trailer fell while the worker was using a propane torch to melt and clear frozen ground around the trailer. The worker was employed at Mintech Marketing Inc., 64 Tanner Industrial Park, Campbellford, Ontario, a company that collects and resells post-production plastic and other waste products.
On January 16, 2017, a young worker was using a propane torch to melt and clear frozen ground around the landing gear legs of a transport trailer, whose landing gear was stuck in the frozen ground. Landing gear legs support the trailer when it is not attached to a tractor unit. In this case, it was intended that the trailer be moved but it could not be moved because the legs were stuck in ice.
After commencing the work, the worker was left alone to complete the task. At some point during the work the worker moved from the driver side to the passenger side leg of the landing gear. This placed the worker in a relatively narrow area between the trailer being worked on and another full trailer.
The trailer the worker was working on fell forward and toward the passenger side where the worker was located. The trailer fell when the legs which had been supported by the ice collapsed upon being released from the ice.
The worker was fatally injured as a result of being pinned between the two trailers. New and young workers in Ontario are more likely to be injured during the first few months on the job than other workers, and are three times more likely to be injured during their first month on the job than at any other time.
Following a guilty plea, the company was fined $100,000 by Justice of the Peace Jack Le Blanc in Cobourg court; Crown Counsel David McCaskill.
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:
Mintech Marketing Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ sector regulation 851/90, section 45, subsection (b)(i) which states,
“Material, articles or things,
(b) shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things,
(i) will not tip, collapse or fall.”
This would be a violation of section 25, subsection 1(c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
I remember this well. I am a health and safety trainer in the Peterborough area and we heard about this right away. Actually, I was training across the road only a few weeks later and it was still the main source of conversation.
Young workers are the most at risk. It doesn’t have to be that way. We are getting the message to the schools to have the senior classes take such courses as “Working at Heights”, (of which HRS Group Inc. is an approved provider) and we delivered the courses at Norwood High School and Tass (Thomas A. Stewart Secondary). So far, it has filtered down to the employers and having them let us know they are happy to see this.
About time, they say!
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
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’, ‘Propane Heaters and Torches’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.