Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Central Machine and Marine Inc., a Sarnia machine shop specializing in large marine repairs, was fined $65,000 on May 14, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was seriously injured.
On January 17, 2008, two workers were disassembling a harmonic engine balancer consisting of three rings on a centre core. The engine balancer was suspended from its core by an overhead crane, and some bolts had already been removed. The workers were under the raised load and one worker was removing another bolt when the top and middle rings slid away from the core and onto the worker’s arm, severely crushing it against the bottom ring and a piece of lumber.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the engine balancer had not been secured or blocked after it was raised.
Central Machine and Marine Inc. pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing, as an employer, to ensure the engine balancer was securely and solidly blocked while elevated to prevent it from falling on the worker.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Marsha L. Miskokomon. 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Central Machine and Marine was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 74 which states,
“Machinery, equipment or material that is temporarily elevated and under which a worker may pass or work shall be securely and solidly blocked to prevent the machinery, equipment or material from falling or moving.”
Central Machine 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 the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
This happens to be my 90th blog, (thank you) and I felt I needed to mount another scathing diatribe about the lack of training for most supervision.
Here we find a company, again, unaware of the responsibilities under the ACT and we also find the employer not enforcing the regulations. How can one enforce what one does not know? Where was the supervisory training concerning the ACT? Why is the safety training for supervisors always the last thing on the agenda? Why is it always too late for workers because of the lack of trained supervisors?
The questions keep on coming.
All supervisors need to receive H&S training prior to taking any job. Our company, HRS Group Inc., has a 3-day course on Basic Certification, Level 1. The first day alone is “Health & Safety and the Law”. It would be my suggestion that all supervisors take the first day of the 3 day course to better provide them, and their employers, with the best possible candidate and keep accidents, and the Ministry of Labour, out of their workplace.
Below is a list that should get them started:
1. Health and safety and the Law;
2. Chemical, Biological and Physical Hazards;
3. Stress Hazards;
4. Recognition, Assessment and Control of Hazards;
5. Workplace Inspection;s
6. Joint Health & Safety Committees;
7. Understanding the Law;
9. Musculoskeletal injuries; and
10. Repetitive Strain Injuries.
The failure to understand section 74 of the Industrial Regulations 851/90 is becoming more common these days. This is my second or third blog dealing with this obscure section of the regulations.
I have to take my hat off to the MOL for their comprehensive knowledge of the all sectors of the ACT. Mind you, the sector specific issues are too big for any one person hence the MOL has determined that their inspectors be sector specific and can focus on the particular area they have been assigned.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer