Excerpts from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’
Highrise Window Technologies Inc., a Concord, Ont. company that makes windows for high rise buildings, was fined $160,000 on April 3, 2009 for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, after a worker was killed. On September 19, 2007, a worker was cutting, loading onto a cart, and moving cut glass from a cutting machine to a washing machine. One cart was overloaded, a rear castor on it broke off while in motion, and glass fell off the cart, pinning the worker between the fallen glass and the cutting machine.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that by lifting the front castors off the ground and dragging the cart, excess stress was placed on the rear castors, causing one to sheer off and the cart and its load to tip.
Highrise Window Technologies Inc. pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure the glass was moved in a way that would not endanger the worker.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Frederiksen. In addition to the fine, the court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
The law(s) in contravention:
Highrise Window Technologies Inc. was charged and convicted of section 45, subsection (b) of the ‘Industrial Establishment’ sector regulation 851/90 which states,
“Materials, articles or things, shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things,
I. Will not tip, collapse or fall, and
II. Can be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of any worker”
This is in direct contravention of section 25, 1(c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
As you can see, here we have another company that does not understand their responsibility under the ACT.
Every company should have a Health & Safety Coordinator that understands the ACT and the regulations and provides proper guidance to the company on the safety aspect of the workplace and the company’s responsibilities towards that end. Companies that do not have this place will feel the sting when receiving judgement by the MOL because their workers are constantly in danger in the workplace. I would suggest that at minimum, the H&S Coordinator should have a CRSP or a CHSC designation.
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. We have a CHSC on staff as well as (2) CHSEPs and one of them is a NCSO. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.