Blog Post #187 – DMI Canada Inc. Fined $55,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

DMI Canada Inc., carrying on business as DMI Industries, was fined $55,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused an injury to a worker. The company manufactures and sells windmills.

On March 26, 2009, workers were assembling windmill platforms at the company’s plant in Stevensville. They had used shackles to lift a pre-assembled platform onto a storage cart. One worker was removing the shackles when the cart tipped over, pinning the worker to a wall. The cart contained three platforms weighing about 125 kilograms each. The worker sustained internal injuries.

DMI Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the platforms were placed in a manner that prevented them from tipping over.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace David Brown. 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:

DMI Canada Inc. was found guilty of violating section 45 (b) of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“Materials, articles or things, shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, article or things,

I. Will not tip, collapse or fall, and
II. Can be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of any worker.”

The art of manual material handling is not one of brute strength but one of a combination of strength and technique. Here we find the workers not having any game plan and experience with the platform to the storage cart and the accident occurred. My first question would be, “why was a special cart not designed to handle the moving of the platform?”

If the company had a JHSC (joint health and safety committee) it is my sincere wish that this type of accident will be addressed and corrective action taken. The MOL will certainly require the corrective action as part of the closure of their investigation.

I would suggest anyone pick up a copy of the Carswell (company name) 2011 or the 2012 (March) ‘Pocket Ontario OH&S Act & Regulations, Consolidated edition. There is a section laid out in the Industrial regulation 851 with a sub heading, Material Handling. The current booklet has the information starting on page 512 under section 45. READ IT!

Please review your company’s material handling responsibilities under the appropriate section. DMI Canada Inc. could have been charged under a few sections of the ACT as well. They should think of themselves as lucky.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need including ‘Manual Material Handling’ and ‘Proper Lifting Techniques’. 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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