Blog Post #384 – BFI Canada Inc. Fined $150,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

BFI Canada Inc., a waste management company operating in Canada and the United States, was fined $150,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On May 28, 2009, a worker from a temporary help agency was assigned to a waste collection route for BFI Canada Inc. in Ottawa. The worker’s job was to take recyclable material from the curb and put it into a waste collection truck. While performing these duties, the worker got out of the truck while it was still moving and the truck ran over the worker’s foot.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the company had safety procedures that prohibited workers from exiting a moving vehicle. However, the temporary worker was not properly trained in these procedures.

BFI Canada Inc. was found guilty of failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to the worker with respect to safe operating procedures for mobile waste collection.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Beverly Souliere. 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:

BFI Canada Inc. was found guilty of violating section 25, subsection (2), clause (a) which states,

“The employer shall provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker.”

Think of the 3 key words here,

1) Information
2) Instruction
3) Supervision

Let us expand on this. The employer MUST ensure that the appropriate safety information is provided. Normally, the orientation process should have taken care of this but it wasn’t. The instruction portion of the legislation would have been the practical component, which included a competent person instructing and a verification process to ensure the information was passed by teacher to student. Finally, the supervisor could not leave the employee until the verification process for all associated hazards was complete.

It can be a simple and effective program to complete. The MOL has strong feelings on the appropriate training concerns for employees, especially where young workers are concerned. Please ensure that your company is compliant and creates a safe work program for new employees (can include review for veterans) through an in-depth orientation program. HRS Group Inc. can help you in this endeavour. Safety programs do not need to be expensive. All one needs is the right attitude from owner/manager on down to make your workplace a safe place.

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 ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. 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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