Blog Post #1153 – Child Fatality in Factory Results in $150,000 Fine

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A child was killed at the J.M. Lahman Manufacturing Inc. factory when bundles of steel tubing fell.

A worker/supervisor for the company was attending at the facility, accompanied by two children. One of the children was moving freely through the aisles of the facility unaccompanied.

The worker used a crane to place three bundles of steel tubing on top of a stack of similar bundles. The three bundles had been left over from the day’s work. Each bundle of tubing weighed approximately 2,140 pounds. The total weight of the stack was estimated to be 15 tons.

The stack of bundles dropped and collapsed. The stack fell onto the child who had been moving about and the child was killed instantly. The other child was far enough away as not to be harmed.

A Ministry of Labour engineer determined during the investigation that the use of softwood spacers between the bundles and the use of insufficient numbers of bands to hold the tubes together contributed to the collapse. There may have been other factors as well.

Following a guilty plea, J.M. Lahman Manufacturing Inc. was fined a total of $150,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson in Kitchener court; Crown counsel Wes Wilson.

A fine of $100,000 was imposed for permitting a person under the age of 15 to be in a factory.

A fine of $50,000 was imposed for failing to ensure that bundles of steel tubing were placed and/or stored in a manner such that they could not tip, collapse and/or fall as required under section 45(b) of the regulation.

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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

J.M. Lahman Manufacturing Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 66, subsection 4 which states,

“In a prosecution of an offence under any provision of this Act, any act or neglect on the part of any manager, agent, representative, officer, director or supervisor of the accused, whether a corporation or not, shall be the act or neglect of the accused.”

J.M. Lahman Manufacturing Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishment’ sector regulation 851/90, section 4, subsection 1(b)(d) which states,

“The minimum age of,

(b) a person who is permitted to be in or about an industrial establishment,

shall be,

(d) fifteen years of age in a factory other than a logging operation.”

Finally, J.M. Lahman Manufacturing Inc. was found guilty of another contravention of the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 45, subsection (b) 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, and

(ii) can be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of any worker.”

I realize that the child didn’t belong and the worker/supervisor, probably had work issues on his/her mind, but the facts are still the same; the child was allowed to roam in a plant that had dangers lurking at every corner. Unacceptable!

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ 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 

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.








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