Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Process Group Inc., a Cambridge company, has been fined $110,000 for a violation of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured while dismantling equipment at the General Motors Transmission Plant.
On October 27, 2010 the company, which supplies engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance services to manufacturing and industry, was working at the plant in Windsor, which was in the process of being decommissioned. In order to gain access to a piece of equipment to be removed from the plant, sections of an overhead conveyor had to be removed. Workers cut and separated a section of the conveyor and began removing the anchoring bolts on the base of the conveyor. As the last bolt was loosened, the conveyor section toppled over, hitting a worker and causing vertebrae in the worker’s back and a bone in one leg to be broken.
A Ministry of Labour inspection found that no blocking had been installed to prevent the collapse or movement of the conveyor section being dismantled.
Process Group Inc. was found guilty after a trial on November 12 of failing as an employer to prevent the collapse or movement of part or all of a piece of equipment that is being dismantled, altered or repaired if its collapse or movement may endanger a worker.
Sentencing took place on December 2, 2013. The fine of $110,000 was imposed by Ontario Court of Justice of the Peace Michael Hurst.
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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Process Group Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 108 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“Blocking shall be installed to prevent the collapse or movement of part or all of a piece of equipment that is being dismantled, altered or repaired if its collapse or movement may endanger a worker.”
Process Group Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,
The employer shall ensure that,
“The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
I was really upset when I read this report. The safe dismantling of a product seems to be more and more dangerous lately. The safety use of the equipment is always applied but the need to tear down, dismantle and remove a piece of equipment is rarely ever discussed. If it is, then why is this happening so much in today’s workplace?
Every aspect of the workplace as far as procedures MUST be written and discussed before any work is to be done. This is part of ‘Due Diligence’ defense as listed in section 66 of the OHSA. It just makes so much sense. Why would people not want their workers working in the safest possible manner?
If you are an employer, your responsibility to your workers starts and ends in the workplace. Never forget that! The Ministry of Labour (MOL) will remind you.
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’, Lockout and Tagout. and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal – CHSEP – Advanced
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.