Blog Post #1391 – Workplace Fatality Results in $100,000 Fine for Hamilton Company

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Countrywide Recycling Inc. of Binbrook, ON, a company that provides waste management and recovery services. was fatally injured while performing duties at a recycling facility in Hamilton, ON.

On October 4, 2019, a worker at the company’s Hamilton recycling plant was walking from the storage bunkers in the facility toward an area known as the tipping floor. The worker was fatally injured when struck by a reversing front-end loader.

An investigation by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development determined that the company failed to provide barriers, warning signs, or other safeguards for the protection of workers in the tipping floor area.

Following a guilty plea in the Ontario Court of Justice, Hamilton, Countrywide Recycling Inc. was fined $100,000 by Judge Amanda Camara; Crown Counsel Shantanu Roy.

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:

Countrywide Recycling Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation 851/90, section 20 which states,

“Barriers, warning signs or other safeguards for the protection of all workers in an area shall be used where vehicle or pedestrian traffic may endanger the safety of any worker.”

This is contrary to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

The worker is intitled to work in a safe workplace. The company, obviously, did not complete a hazard assessment.

Signage is critical when moving equipment such as a front-end loader, forklift or transports are in an area where pedestrians make enter.

I have to say that section 20 has been used much over the past year. Too bad Countrywide Recycling did not read the HRS Group blog blog or keep up on the Ministry of Labour’s (MOL) newsroom court bulletins. If they had of, they would have found a pattern.  Major industrial issue outside of ‘Machine Guarding’ is lack of adequate signage.

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
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

 

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