Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
A Toronto-based company that provides services to the mining industry was fined $65,000 on June 28, 2018 over worker injury in Timmins, Ontario.
On March 20, 2017, a worker was assigned to tape holes at the pit – a task that required measuring the length of drilled holes in reporting the measurements by radio to a co-worker to record the measurements. It is up it was considered a restricted zone due to the risk of brown instability, the worker performing the taping work must wear a body harness tethered to a vehicle parked near the pit for fall protection.
If the fall-protection equipment use did not involve the self-retracting line, this water was required to watch over the worker and keep the tether line taut. In addition, the vehicle serving as the anchor was to be turned off and a master switch locked out or, if there was no master switch on the vehicle, it has to be locked into keys given to the worker tied off to the vehicle.
On the day of the incident, the supervisor employed by Orica Canada Inc. arrived at the pit to act as a spotter, and his truck served as the fall-protection anchor. The supervisor was talking on the cell phone when the worker taping the holes approached his truck and indicated that he needed to be tied off to the vehicle as there were more holes to be taped.
The co-worker recording measurements arrive shortly after and pulled his truck parallel to that of the supervisor’s. The co-worker, who is aware that the fall-arrest equipment was clipped to the supervisor’s truck, clipped the fall-arrest equipment to the harness worn by the taping worker who returned to the pit. But there was no spotter, nor did he have the keys to the truck.
After the supervisor finished the phone conversation, he started to drive away. The taping worker, who was still tethered to the truck, was pulled out of the pit and drape behind the truck until he became wedged under the second truck, sustaining critical injuries.
Orica Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to provide information and instruction and supervision to a worker.
The law(s) in contravention:
Orica Canada Inc. was found guilty of a contravention 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.”
As well, following the standard set by the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL), Orica would have been charged under the same act and section but under a different subsection. Section 1(c) states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
- the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
This has been the same story over and over. Workers need the proper instruction to work safe as well as the competent supervision. Why was the supervisor not competent? Section 25, subsection 2(c) of the OHSA states,
“An employer shall,
- when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.”
If the reader is unaware of the competency standard listed in the OHSA then I will list the definition below;
“competent person” means a person who,
(a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,
(b) is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and
(c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.”
I believe Orica Canada Inc. failed on many levels and, I could name a few more, but you get the picture.
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’, ‘Fall Protection’ 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.