Blog Post #739 – Guilty Plea Nets Hefty Fine

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A construction company, Ontario was fined hundred and $70,000 on August 19, 2013 after pleading guilty to failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.

On September 30, 2011, a worker was operating a battery-powered locomotive in a tunnel project in Brampton, Ontario. The provincial labour ministry says a supervisor employed by McNally Construction Inc. was disconnecting the cars from the locomotive to install a fresh battery when the worker’s head, which was raised between the battery and part of a gantry, was crushed by the locomotive moving forward. An investigation found that the gantry was not safe for use with the supplied locomotive.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

McNally Construction Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 25 subsection 2 (h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall,

(h) Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

I wonder if the supervisor discussed the actual removal of the battery and the procedures for such with the worker prior to the operation. Obviously not! If he/she HAD fully understood the responsibilities of the employer under sections 25 and 26 of the OHSA and the full responsibilities of the supervisor under section 27 of the OHSA then there would be a good chance that the worker would be alive today.

Remember, in your work area, all hazards have to be identified, assessed, and controlled. That is the expectation of the Ontario government and policed through the Ministry of Labour (MOL).

This is the 739th blog post this writer has completed and section 2(h) of the OHSA has been used, by far, the most often as the appropriate section of either the OHSA or sector regulations.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place!

Consider all the hazards documented and controlled prior to the work being started. The province of Ontario,and your workers, will be happy you did.

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 – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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