Blog Post #239 – Fripes Export Ltd. Fined $50,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Fripes Export Ltd., a large used clothing procurement, grading and re-distribution business, located in Toronto, was fined $50,000 on October 13, 2010, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused an injury to a worker.

On October 29, 2009, an electrical contractor working for Fripes Export Ltd. was directing a worker operating a fork lift. The electrical contractor walked backwards into the path of a bale of clothing being ejected from a bailing press. The bail of clothing rolled into the electrical contractor, causing injuries to the electrical contractor’s lower limbs.

Fripes Export Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of clothing bales did not endanger the safety of any worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace G. Sunit John. 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:

Fripes Export Ltd. was found guilty of violating section 45(a) of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“Materials articles or things required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards, including protective clothing, guards or other precautions as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker.”

Here we find another case of an employer not reviewing a process and ensuring that all safety precautions are in place prior to the operation. It happens so often I have become immune to the information.

I have stated, over and over again, that health and safety policies and procedures needs to be designed and applied at the planning stage to become proactive instead of reactive. Does this sound familiar? It sure does! Why do employers not encourage health and safety throughout their organization? It would be simpler to do so than to develop a terrible reputation as a health and safety high risk company, and be forever on the radar of the MOL. It does not have to be this way. If the Health & Safety Coordinator receives a total commitment from the top of the organization, then the proper attitude filters down to the grass roots level. The same message applies to all levels and the company can move forward with little interference from outside sources (MOL, WSIB etc.) and increase productivity as well.

I am finishing up a 2 year program on health and safety. The information is very useful and I use the information in my every day training programs. The information is current today as it was before and there is always something to learn and improve upon. I am working towards my CHSEP designation and will also write the CRSP exam as well. The better the education, the better one can serve one’s customers. As members of the CSSE, and Angela having the CHSC designation already, ethics play a large part of the day-to-day running of the business.

Please check other blog posts as well as our on-line courses. We have also hired someone to fine tune our other programs and should be ready to place another 20+ awareness and competency course on-line ready for your review.

Any questions you may have on health and safety can be received by Rose at our information desk at . It will be passed on to Angela, and myself, and we will investigate and get the information to you as soon as possible.

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 ‘Forklift Certification’ and ‘Forklift Re-Certification’ and ‘Material Handling’. 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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