Blog Post #508 – Island Steel Erectors Limited Fined $85,000 after Material Killed Worker

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Island Steel Erectors Limited, an Oakville company that erects steel structures, was fined $85,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed.

On December 21, 2010, the driver of a truck carrying bundled steel frames arrived at a construction site at 430 Wyecroft Road in Oakville. The crane that was normally used to unload the bundled frames was not available, so a worker obtained a forklift instead.

The driver walked around the truck, removing the chains that secured the load of bundles. With the driver out of sight, the worker attempted to lift the first bundle with the forklift. The bundle slid off the forks and fell to the other side of the truck, where it landed on the driver, causing fatal injuries.

Island Steel Erectors Limited pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that material was moved in a manner that did not endanger a worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Debra Huston. 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:

Island Steel Erectors Limited was found guilty of a contravention of section 37, subsection 1 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“Material or equipment at a project shall be stored and moved in a manner that does not endanger a worker.”

It is sad when things like this happen. People should never be hurt or worse, killed. The procedures should be outlined and all aspects of the job, especially the hazards, need to be identified, assessed and controlled. If this has not happened, as it seemed to be in this case, then the company, and quite possibly, the supervisor, will be held fully responsible.

Material killed worker! Why were there no safeguards in place?

The Occupational Health and safety Act as well as the appropriate sector regulations are there for your protection. Someone has to be responsible for the protection of the workforce. If the employer has not figured that out then the Ministry of Labour will give the cold hard facts. (and possibly a fine, jail time or both)

By the way,

This post will be my last with a designation of CHSEP – Foundation Level. I write my 12th and final component today to received my advanced degree.

Wish me luck!

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 ‘Forklift Certification’,  ‘Forklift Re-Certification’ and ‘Material Handling’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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

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