Blog Post #1208 – Forestry Worker’s Death Results in $80,000 Fine for Logging Company

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker was killed when the boom of a tree de-limbing machine released. The worker was an employee of D & G Logging Ltd., 168 Government Road, Kapuskasing, Ontario, a small logging company near Manitouwadge, Ontario.

On the day of the incident, a worker employed by D & G Logging Ltd. was at work in the Big Pic Forest. The worker was working on a Quadco de-limber machine (used to remove branches from trees).

The worker was attempting to repair a leak on the hydraulic cylinder on the boom of the de-limber machine which was mounted on a CAT excavator.

While removing the hydraulic line from the cylinder, the boom of the machine was suspended but was not blocked to prevent it from movement. The worker was positioned over the base of the machine and under the boom. This positioning was being used to reach the hydraulic hose from the back of the cylinder.

While removing the hose from the cylinder, the pressure holding the boom in an elevated position quickly released, causing the boom to drop and crush the worker between the boom and the cab of the machine. The worker died as a result of the injuries.

The boom was not blocked or otherwise immobilized to prevent it from moving once the machine had been taken out of service.

On July 29, 2019, following a guilty plea, D & G Logging Ltd. was fined $80,000 by Justice of the Peace Zelda N. Kitchekeesik in provincial offences court in Thunder Bay; Crown Counsel Joe Ferraro.

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:

D&G Logging Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 75 which states,

“Machinery, equipment or material that is temporarily elevated and under which a worker may pass or work shall be securely and solidly blocked to prevent the machinery, equipment or material from falling or moving.”

A set of safe work procedures for every type of operation is the standard today and D&G Logging Ltd. has to plan their work every bit as much as a large corporation.

My first reaction was,

  • Was a supervisor “Competent” enough to control the work being done? If not, then section 25, subsection 2(c) of the Act was in contravention. If he or she was, then section 27, subsection 1(a) was in contravention;
  • Was there an operating manual on the machine and, if so, did it have safe work procedures for maintenance, which would have included machine blocking? and
  • What was the training like for the worker?

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