Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Wal-Mart Canada Corporation has been found guilty and fined $60,000 after a worker at the company’s Brampton Super Centre fell and suffered injuries from a tripping hazard.
On September 20, 2013 at the store, located at 70 Coventry Road in Brampton, a worker who usually performed maintenance or janitorial tasks was asked to off-load a pallet of paper onto a pallet jack, or pump truck. The worker was walking backward, tripped on an empty pallet on the floor and fell. The worker complained about injury to a hand and to the head, and called in sick the next day. The worker did not return to work and passed away in hospital two weeks after the incident.
A Ministry of Labour inspector attended the scene on October 4, 2013 after receiving word of an industrial accident.
After three days at trial, Wal-Mart Canada Corporation was found guilty of violating Section 11 of Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation), which states that a floor or other surface used by any worker shall be kept free of obstructions and hazards.
The judge released her decision on May 6, 2016 and imposed a fine of $60,000 on June 2, 2016.
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:
Walmart was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 11 which states,
“A floor or other surface used by any worker shall,
(a) be kept free of,
(ii) hazards, and
(iii) accumulations of refuse, snow or ice; and
(b) not have any finish or protective material used on it that is likely to make the surface slippery.”
Walmart was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1 (c) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
This is not the first time I have written up a report that concerned Walmart.(read blog post #338) In fact, there are similarities between this report and others concerning Walmart. One glaring similarity is their zeal to fight each and every charge. Mind you, $60,000 is not must of a deterrent of a fine for a company the size of Walmart.
I would also wager that they will not filter down any of the fine and internal report to other stores. If they did, I would certainly be surprised.
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’, ‘Slips, Trips and Falls’ 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 Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.