Blog Post #823 – Wood Shavings Collector Found Guilty

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A company that purchases and collects wood shavings from mills has been fined $115,000. After a trial in December 2013, Reliable Wood Shavings in Bradford, Ontario was found guilty of failing to ensure, as an employer, that the loading of a truck from a silo was conducted in a safe manner.

The fine stems from the death of a worker in 2009. The worker was employed as a blower truck operator whose task was to load wood shavings into the box of the truck for resale. On July 14, 2009, the employee was sent to a woodworking mill in Schomberg to collect wood shavings from a silo.

The silo held nearly 74 cubic yards of wood shavings and the operator was to back the truck underneath the silo where the shavings had been stored. While attempting to dislodge material, the worker fell into the box of the truck, became engulfed by wood shavings and suffocated. He succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Wood Shavings Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 35 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“Overhead protection shall be provided where falling material may endanger any worker.”

Wood Shavings 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,

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

This type of operation does not have a large amount of material to draw from when dealing with safety issues BUT, section 25, subsection 2 (a) of the OHSA states,

“An employer shall,

(a) provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

This type of protection starts with a through workplace safety hazard assessment prior to any work being done. I would wager that this was not the case. Where was the written instructions? Where was the supervision? Where was the appropriate PPE for the operation?

Your workers are your best asset. Please ensure their safety by following the OHSA and sector regulations that relate to you.

Thank you.

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 or Conveyor 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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