Blog Post #660 – South Essex Fabricating Inc. Fined $65,000 after Worker Falls

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

South Essex Fabricating Inc., a constructor of greenhouses, has been fined $65,000 after a worker fell from an elevating work platform and was injured.

On May 28, 2011, a worker was engaged in fastening hangers to the underside of roof trusses in a greenhouse on County Road 31 near Leamington. The worker was using a hydraulic scissor lift operating on rails, which was built by South Essex. The worker fell from a height of about 11 feet and suffered serious injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the worker was operating the scissor lift to move it while it was fully extended, causing it to tip over. Instructions for the scissor lift specified that it was not to be operated while extended. In addition, the lift had not been designed by a professional engineer in accordance with good engineering practices to meet the requirements of the National Standards of Canada for self-propelled elevating work platforms. The lift was missing a number of requirements such as anchorage points for securing safety belts, an emergency stop device or controls at ground level, among other deficiencies.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a hydraulic scissor lift met the design requirements of the National Standards of Canada and was fined $65,000. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman.

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:

South Essex Fabricating Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall ensure,

The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

South Essex Fabricating Inc. should have realized that any machine MUST adhere to any and all engineer standards. I guess it was something they either didn’t know or refused to be held to.

Would you allow your children to drive an automobile that may be less than meet the standards? I think not! South Essex Fabricating Inc. should have decided to treat their workforce just like they would their own families and the truth of the ACT and regulations would have been seen and understood and this accident may not have happened. It certainly didn’t need to happen if a little ‘Due Diligence’ was forthcoming.

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’, ‘Fall Protection’, ‘Working at Heights’, Elevating Work Platform Certification’ 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 – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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