Blog Post #791 – Oxford Properties Group Fined $50,000 After Worker Suffers Injuries to Hands

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Oxford Properties Group Inc., a large owner of properties with holdings throughout Canada, has pleaded guilty to violating occupational health and safety laws and has been fined $50,000 after a worker was injured while servicing an elevator.

On December 13, 2013, a team of workers from an elevator maintenance company was sent to a building owned by Oxford at 315 Front Street in Toronto to service and repair one of the elevators in the building. The problem was a blown bearing on a deflector sheave (a type of pulley with grooves); cables had jumped off the sheave. The workers performed an initial assessment, then proceeded to the elevator machine room.

There were no guards on the elevator motors, which were situated in the elevator machine room. As the workers performed their service and repair work, one of the workers pulled on the cables by hand in an effort to help them move. As the worker did so, one of the other workers proceeded to drift the brakes of the elevator; this caused the cables to suddenly move. As the cables moved, they grabbed the first worker’s hands. The worker suffered injuries to both hands.

The Ministry of Labour investigated the incident and concluded that Oxford Properties Group Inc. had failed to ensure that the motor of the elevator was guarded. Justice of the Peace Ajit Grewal imposed the $50,000 fine in Toronto court on June 4, 2015.

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:

Oxford Properties Group Inc. was found guilty of a violation of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 25 which states,

“An in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point.”

Furthermore, Oxford Properties Group Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25(1)(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

Machine Guarding is a subject that has to be addressed in all the 4 work sectors. (construction, industrial, healthcare and mining) Any time there is a chance to come in contact with a moving part of a machine then a worker has to be protected by a guard. (Machine guarding for industrial is covered from sections 24 to 44.2 inclusive)

All employers MUST read the sections of both the OHSA and the appropriate sector regulations. If not, then the employer will be held accountable and end up here for the reader as an example of how not to run a safe business. Oxford Properties will be one of many. Too bad too! It was totally unnecessary!

Ensure your workplace is 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’, ‘Machine Guarding’ 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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