Blog Post #110 – Bon Ferro Inc. Fined $90,000 After Worker Killed

Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’

Bon Ferro Inc., a St. Catharines manufacturer of metal furniture, staircases, gates and railings, was fined $90,000 today for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was killed.

On December 1, 2007, a welder was setting up a punch press for a new job, when a piece of the punch apparatus broke off as the worker cycled the press. The shattered piece of metal hit the welder in the neck. The welder was rushed to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the worker was cycling the press in the wrong mode, and he had not received training for the type of press he was using that day.

After trial, Bon Ferro Inc. was convicted of failing, as an employer, to provide information, instruction and supervision to the worker on the safe operation of the punch press.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Donna Cowan. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, 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:

Bon Ferro Inc. was convicted under section 25, subsection 2(a) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act which states,

“The employer shall provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker.”

Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Why did Bon Ferro not read and utilize the safe operating procedures as described in the manufacturer’s operating manual? Did they even look? If they DID look up the safety suggestions by the manufacturer then why didn’t they incorporate them into the proper job descriptions as defined by the ACT. Where was the supervisor and did he/she receive the special training needed to understand the hazards associated with the job? Did Bob Ferro even consider hiring a competent supervisor as described in section 25, subsection 2(c)?

All these questions seemed to go unanswered and the MOL could have easily fined Bon Ferro, and the associated supervisor accordingly.

I believe they got off lucky. How about you?

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259. We can also be reached at 

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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