Sections 25 and 26 of the OHSA are quite explicit on the responsibilities of employers. The following blog deals with section 25, subsection 1 only. A separate blog(s) will be posted at a later date to deal with section 25, subsection 2 as well as section 26.
Section 25, subsection 1, ‘An employer shall ensure that’,
a) The equipment, materials and protective devices as prescribed are provided,
b) The equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition,
c) The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace,
d) The equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are used as prescribed, and
e) A floor, roof, wall, pillar, support or other part of a workplace is capable of supporting all loads to which it may be subjected to without causing the materials therein to be stressed beyond the
allowable unit stresses established under the ‘The Building Code’.
I will attempt to give examples for each of the above.
a) If the employer purchases a forklift that has a weight capacity of 4,500 lbs BUT cannot lift freight over, say, 3,800 lbs, then section 1(a) has been contravened. This could have been achieved, as I have witnessed, a 48 volt battery, weighing 2,000 lbs replaced by a much lighter one. The battery is a key part to the weight capacity for electric forklifts. If counterweight is added then the original weight capacity has been changed BUT the centre of gravity has also been changed. The plate may need to be updated but ONLY if signed off by a professional engineer.
b) The pre-inspection is a key component to forklift training, as recommended by the CSA standard, B335-15. What happens if an employer is slow off the mark and doesn’t repair the machine when the report was established? What happens if an accident occurs with the defective machine? Section 1(b) has been contravened. The MOL will place blame accordingly. Again, I have witnessed something similar.
c) Once a plan has been established in a workplace, then all persons, management as well as the rank and file worker, must comply with the company’s procedures. If safety glasses and safety boots are required then you MUST wear them. (section 28- 1(b)) The management MUST make sure that procedures are followed or section 1(c) has been contravened.
d) If forklifts are used for joyriding, or if someone other than one with a ROT (record of training) is found driving one then management is in contravention of section 25, 1(d).
e) A forklift weighs approximately twice its capacity. Very, very heavy! If the flow of a trailer is suggested to be inadequate for the job, then the management MUST tag the trailer and report the defect to the owner of the trailer for repair. This recognition of the floor defect is part of the day-to-day planning for the forklift operator. Section 1(e) is contravened if the trailer is used.
For more information on the OHSA, please contact HRSGroup.com and attend the Basic Certification Level 1 course that is usually run once a month. If our location is too far away for your company to attend, we can have a trainer sent to your location. We also offer group rates to better serve our clients.
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.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.