Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (Fall 2022)
A supervisor for a refrigeration company has been fined $20,000 after a worker was killed in Ontario.
L.Z Refrigeration Inc., was hired on March 05, 2020, as a subcontractor to install refrigeration panels for a walk-in, cold storage room at a workplace in Scarborough, Ont.
Yuqin Liu was a director and a supervisor of L.Z. Refrigeration Inc. On March 13, 2020, at about 1:00 pm, the worker was operating an elevated work platform (EWP) by himself.
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 guardrail near the control box suffering crushing injuries.
The worker was unable to free himself and succumbed to his injuries.
Lui failed, as a supervisor, to ensure that the worker operated the EWP as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Specifically, he failed to ensure the worker was provided with oral and written instructions on training on the operation of the EWP which includes instructions with respect to the owner’s manual.
Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court, in Toronto, Lui was fined $20,000. 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 Lui was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Construction sector reg. 213/91, section 147, subsection (1) 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 the OHSA, section 27, subsection 1(a) 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;
I was very surprised by the low amount of the fine when a death on the job occurs. I have seen other provinces with low fines in this range but not Ontario. (at least not recently) It must be a new low, and a trend going in the wrong direction.
What kind of deterrent is this!
I hope the Ontario government appeals this one.
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.
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.