Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A worker employed by L.Z. Refrigeration Inc. was fatally injured at the workplace while operating an Elevating Work Platform (EWP). Yuqin Liu failed as a supervisor to ensure that a worker worked in a manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. They also failed to provide the worker with oral and written instructions or training on the operation of an EWP which includes instructions with respect to the owner’s manual.
L.Z. Refrigeration Inc. was hired on March 5, 2020, as a subcontractor to install refrigeration panels for a walk-in, cold storage room at the workplace.
Yuqin Liu was a director and a supervisor of L.Z. Refrigeration Inc.
On March 13, 2020, at approximately 1:00 pm, the worker was by himself operating an EWP. At some point, the worker activated the EWP joystick for controlling elevation. The platform elevated and as the EWP continued to rise, the worker became trapped between an overhead beam used to support electrical wires and the elevating platform’s guardrail near the control box suffering crushing injuries.
The worker was unable to free himself and succumbed to his injuries.
Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Toronto, Yuqin Liu was fined $20,000 by Justice of the Peace Felicitas M. Camposano; 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Yuqin Liu was found guilty of section 147(1) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“A worker who operates an elevating work platform shall, before using it for the first time, be given oral and written instruction on the operation and be trained to operate that class of elevating work platform.”
This is contrary to section 27, subsection 1(a) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act which states,
“A supervisor shall ensure that a worker,
(a) works in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and the regulations.”
$20,000 is the fine for a worker that dies on the job? What kind of Justice is that? Where is the deterrent to ensure that this type of accident does not happen again?
Good questions but no answers. I think the Justice of the Peace dropped the ball here. Wow! This is the lowest fine for a death in all the blog posts I have delivered.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
We can also be reached at www.hrsgroup.com.
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 and Training Director