Blog Post #139 – Companies Fined $125,000 Total After Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Cimco Refrigeration, a division of Toromont Industries Ltd. that manufactures and maintains refrigeration systems, was fined $95,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured. Sobeys Capital Inc., carrying on business as Sobey’s Whitby Retail Support Centre, a grocery distribution centre, was fined $30,000 in relation to the same incident.

On August 22, 2009, a worker from Cimco Refrigeration was servicing an electrically-powered door at the Sobey’s Whitby Retail Support Centre. While standing on a ladder, the worker made contact with the door’s energized control panel. The worker fell from the ladder, sustaining severe head injuries and electrical burns.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the control panel was not disconnected from the power supply, locked out or tagged before the worker started service to the door.

Also, during the course of investigation, a manager from Sobey’s asked a maintenance worker to perform a task that involved interfering with the scene of the occurrence.

Sobeys Capital Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that no one interfered with or altered anything at the scene of the incident until permission to do so was given by an inspector.

Cimco Refrigeration pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the power supply to the control panel was disconnected, locked out or tagged before any work was done on or near live exposed parts of the control panel.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Tina Rotondi-Molinari. In addition to the fines, 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:

Cimco Refrigeration, a division of Toromont Ltd., was in contravention of section 42 (1) of the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

The power supply to electrical installations, equipment or conductors shall be disconnected, locked out of service and tagged before any work is done, and while it is being done, on or near live exposed parts of the installation, equipment or conductors.”

Sobeys Capital Inc. was found guilty to a contravention of section 51, subsection 2 of the OHSA which states,

Preservation of wreckage, “When a person is killed or is critically injured at a workplace, no person shall, except for the purpose of,

a) Saving life, or relieving human suffering
b) Maintaining an essential service or a public transportation system, or
c) Preventing unnecessary damage to equipment or other property.”

“Interference with, the disturbance, destroying, altering or the carrying away of any wreckage, articles or things at the scene of or connected with the occurrence cannot happen until permission to do so has been given by an inspector.”

Wow, another company not using lockout/tagout. What is up with that! Does any employee, especially with an electrical background, not understand lockout and tagout? Hmm… The consequences are severe. An employee can receive an electrical shock or a possible arcing situation. Both can be eliminated by the lockout/tagout procedure. I wonder if Cimco Refrigeration has a lockout/tagout policy now. I wonder if the supervision of Cimco has been trained as required under section 25, subsection 2(c). All pieces have to be in place to prevent a recurrence.

Sobeys, what can one say about Sobeys. Anyone connected with the health and safety field in Ontario knows that an accident scene cannot be altered or changed. Why would they have an untrained supervisor or lower manager that does not know their responsibilities under the ACT. That alone defies section 25. Maybe the person in question needs to take Basic Certification Level 1 to better understand provincial requirements under the law (OHSA)

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 ‘Lockout and Tagout’. 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 – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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