Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Kraus Inc., a Waterloo carpet manufacturer, was fined $60,000 on October 19, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), after a worker was injured.
On September 2, 2008, a worker placed with Kraus Inc. by a temporary employment agency was unloading carpet from a dyeing machine with rope and an overhead reel. The worker’s ankle became tangled in the rope. The worker was pulled feet first into the air towards the reel, causing an ankle injury.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Kraus Inc. did not have a written job procedure for the dyeing machine or a safe operating procedure for the use of the rope on the reel.
Kraus Inc. pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing as an employer to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert M. Seneshen. 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:
Kraus Inc. was convicted for the violation of section 25, subsection 2(h) of the OHSA which states,
“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”
By now, most of my regular readers should have this particular section memorized. I would dare say that it is the most commonly used piece of safety legislation to protect workers in Ontario and by far the most used for convictions.
Employers should always make safety their top priority or section 25 of the OHSA will be researched and the appropriate fines will be laid.
Kraus Inc. also needs to consider the health and safety of temporary workers. Since temporary workers are not actual members of their staff, I find most companies dealing with ‘temp’ workers feel that they can get away with more, as seems to be the case here. Temporary or not, the health and safety of every worker, contractor and supplier on their site is the employer’s responsibility.
Can you believe this as well? Kraus Inc. did not have written work procedures for a particular job. Most companies learned that part of business years ago. There are always some that fall through the cracks.
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 such courses as ‘The Supervisor and the Law’ and ‘Due Diligence’. 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.