Blog Post #916 – Crane Company Fined $120,000 After Worker Permanently Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Following a trial, Sterling Crane Division of Procrane Inc., has been fined $120,000 in provincial court after a worker was struck by part of a crane and suffered permanent injuries.

On May 6, 2012 – the day before the incident – two employees of Sterling Crane stowed a jib alongside the boom of an 1100 National Crane, a boom-type truck, owned by Sterling Crane. This activity took place at the Sterling Crane yard located at 696 Polymoore Drive in Corunna, Ontario.

The next day, an employee of Sterling Crane who was employed as an operating engineer was operating this boom truck at the Imperial Oil Sun Junction station on Sun Avenue in Sarnia, Ontario. The employee was at the controls, on the driver’s station, lifting the boom of the crane.  During the process of lifting the boom, the jib, which was attached to the crane’s boom, fell from the boom and struck the employee. The employee sustained critical injuries and as a result suffered permanent injuries.

After a trial, the defendant was convicted of failing to provide information, instruction and/or supervision to its worker to ensure that the jib was stowed on the boom properly and in accordance with the operating manual issued by the manufacturer. The company was fined $120,000 by Justice of the Peace Susan Whelan in Sarnia court on September 21, 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Sterling Crane was found guilty of a violation of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA) section 25, subsection 2(a) which states,

“An employer shall,

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

How simple can it be? Completing a JHA (Job hazard analysis or assessment) is the first step in doing a task safely. Here we would have found that the employee would have known all about the associated hazard and would have been ready for anything.

I realize that hindsight is 20-20 but this type of accident happens more and more and needs to be eliminated by developing a safety culture at any and all businesses.

This one is very tragic and could have been easily avoided.

Please ensure that 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’, ‘Construction Lifting and Rigging’ 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.

Leave a Comment