Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A worker employed by a third-party trucking company was fatally injured at the workplace belonging to CRM of Canada Processing ULC while onsite to remove a bin. CRM of Canada Processing ULC failed to provide information and instruction to workers.
RM of Canada Processing ULC (the employer) is a duly incorporated entity with a registered head office in Vancouver BC.
This incident took place at the employer’s rubber recycling facility located at 150 Garden Avenue in Brantford, Ontario.
The employer breaks up used tires into small crumb pellets that can be more easily recycled into new product. During the recycling process of breaking up the tires into smaller crumb rubber pellets, a fibrous material is released as a by-product. The by-product is collected and compacted into an industrial container and is then trucked off the premises by a third-party trucking company.
These containers are designed with clamping devices on each side of the container to secure the container to the compactor. This is needed as the container becomes a compaction vessel for the movement and the forces generated by the ram. The compactor involved had a capacity of 40 tonnes force.
A limit switch interlocked with the movement of the ram is located at the discharge end of the compactor. When correctly positioned and activated, this switch is in physical contact with the container and signals to the compacting ram that it can continue to pack the container because the container is in the correct and secured position. If the limit switch device is not activated or is not in contact with the container, the ram does not operate.
The compactor operator is responsible for securing the clamping devices and for ensuring the limit switch is activated and correctly positioned.
On March 3, 2021, at approximately 1:40 pm, a truck driver employed by the third-party trucking company arrived on site for a container that was in the final stages of being filled. The driver had regularly attended this facility to deliver empty containers and remove filled containers. The driver backed their truck into position, entered the building and spoke briefly to the assistant compactor operator. He then left the building.
Ten minutes later, the assistant compactor operator found the worker unresponsive and trapped outside between the container and the wall. There were no eyewitnesses to the incident, and it is not clear how the container became detached from the compactor. Emergency Services were summoned to retrieve the worker who suffered fatal injuries.
Upon investigation, it was determined the limit switch was not appropriately activated or positioned to be able to detect the position of the container. It was also determined that the operators of the compactor were not informed or instructed on how to correctly position and activate this limit switch.
Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Brantford, CRM of Canada Processing ULC was fined $125,000 by Justice of the Peace Eileen Walker; Crown Counsel Line Forestier.
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:
CRM of Canada Processing ULC was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 2(a) which states,
“An employer shall,
- provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”
As the reader can see, an employee MUST receive all the information necessary to do any job, and do it safely. Anything less than this, a company is always found liable.
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.
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.