Blog Post #302 – Hurley Corporation Fined $60,000 for Health and Safety Violation

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Hurley Corporation, a Toronto company that provides janitorial services, was fined $60,000 on February 17, 2011, for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act by improperly storing chemicals.

On March 6, 2009, a Hurley worker was attempting to clean the floor at Humber College’s Etobicoke campus. The worker asked a supervisor to provide floor cleaner. The supervisor poured a floor cleaning chemical from a properly labeled commercial container into a water bottle and left the bottle on a table in the worker’s area. There were no markings on the bottle to identify it as floor cleaner. The worker found the bottle, assumed it was filled with water, and drank from it. The worker felt a burning stomach, coughed up blood, vomited and briefly lost consciousness. The worker was hospitalized but released with no lasting effects from the chemical.

Hurley Corporation pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the floor cleaner was transferred into a container with a proper workplace label.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Kevin Madigan. In addition to the fine, the court 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:

Hurley Corporation was found guilty of violating section 10(1) of the Ontario WHMIS regulation 860, under the ‘Workplace Labels for Decanted Products’ states,

“If a controlled product that an employer receives in a container from a supplier is transferred to another container, the employer shall ensure that the other container has a workplace label.”

How much more simple can it get? Another employee gets injured, (being stupid) but another employer not REALLY reading WHMIS and taking proper precautions.

The first question asked in an interview for a job is “Do you have WHMIS and has it been updated?”

WHMIS is so easy as there are 3 main topics for the employer, worker and supervisor to understand. They are;

1) MSDS — Material Safety Data Sheets
2) Labels — Supplier, Workplace and Laboratory Labels
3) Training

I hope everyone is ready for the undated version coming soon. GHS or the Global Harmonized System will slowly take over and all employers need to have training at the workplace when it is finally introduced to the world.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Chemical Safety Awareness’, ‘WHMIS’ and ‘Global Harmonized System (GHS)’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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