Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A worker, employed by Canadian Waste Management Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario, was injured after reaching into the hopper of a waste collection truck while its machinery was engaged. The company failed, as an employer, to ensure the truck was equipped with, and guarded by, a guard or other device to prevent access to its moving parts.
At the time of the incident, Canadian Waste Management Inc. held a contract with the City of Stratford for garbage, recycling and organic waste pickup.
On December 8, 2020, a worker was at the City’s landfill site to empty a waste collection truck. The worker had engaged the machinery of the truck to push waste from the hopper towards the tailgate to be emptied when they noticed a garbage bag had fallen behind the ram that was pushing the waste.
With the machinery still running, the worker used a plastic snow brush, taken from the garbage, to move the fallen bag closer. The worker then reached into the truck to grab the bag. The worker’s jacket got caught in the machinery and the worker was critically injured.
Earlier that day, the worker and a supervisor had inspected the truck and noticed the safety plate that normally covered the moving parts in the hopper area of the truck was missing. The supervisor told the worker to keep their hands away from the area but permitted them to use the truck without the safety plate in place.
Following a guilty plea in the Provincial Offences Court in Stratford, Ontario, the Company was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson
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:
Canadian Waste Management Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 2(h) which states,
“An employer shall,
(h) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
Canadian Waste Management inc. could also have been charged under the ‘Industrial Establishment’ sector regulation 851/90, section 24 which states,
“Where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”
In any case, the guards for the machine were not there and the supervisor SHOULD have locked and tagged out the machine until the guards could be found and installed.
The supervisor should have been aware of section 27, subsection 1(a) of the OHSA which states,
“A supervisor shall ensure that a worker,
- works in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and the regulations.”
If the supervisor was not aware of section 27, then he/she was not competent.
The competency standard states,
““Competent person” means a person who,
(a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,
(b) is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and
(c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.”
If the supervisor did not meet this standard, then section 25, subsection 2(c) applies to the employer. It states,
“An employer shall,
- when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.”
In any case, there was enough blame to go around. The supervisor, however, failed to protect the worker(s), and that is unacceptable.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Machine Guarding’. 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.