Blog Post #297 – Ely’s Glass Company Limited Fined $70,000 after Worker Killed

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Ely’s Glass Company Limited, a Toronto company that sells and installs windows, was fined $70,000 on January 27, 2011, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused a worker’s death.

On September 9, 2009, a worker from Ely’s Glass was replacing a window in an apartment building in Toronto. To remove the window pane, the worker cut a hole in it from the inside and reached through to pry it out of the window frame. The worker was standing on a ladder, which slipped. The worker fell. The worker’s arm hit the sharp edge of the window pane and was cut severely. The worker died.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the worker was not wearing protective clothing and the sharp edge of glass in the window pane was not covered to protect the worker.

Ely’s Glass Company Limited pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that a worker was protected from the hazard of skin contact with a sharp or jagged object.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Sunny Ng. 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:

Ely’s Glass Company Limited was found guilty of a contravention of  section 25 (2)(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

Here we go again. Section 25, subsection 2(h) was used again. I have stated in previous posts that this particular section of the ACT is used more than any other. In this case, however, there was a piece of legislation that would have covered this particular accident.

Section 84, subsection (b) of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 states,

“A worker exposed to the hazard of injury from contact of the worker’s skin with

b) A sharp or jagged object which may puncture, cut or abrade the worker’s skin shall be protected by
e) Wearing apparel sufficient to protect the worker from injury.”

There are usually pieces of legislation in the OHSA which covers previous issues. Ely’s Glass Company was very lucky to have escaped with only a $70,000 fine. I believe the ‘Justice of the Peace’ failed to understand her responsibility in the matter. The life of an employee should be worth more than that amount. I understand the financial standing of the company is taken into consideration but we lost another worker in Ontario. We need to better protect our workforce.

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 ‘Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Safety’. 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.

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

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