Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Liquidation World Inc., an Alberta discount retailer, was fined $18,000 today for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
On September 23, 2008, an inspector visited Liquidation World’s Brantford location as part of the Ministry of Labour’s safety blitz on falls in industrial workplaces. The inspector found that two workers had been using an unsafe ladder. The ladder was missing three of its four non-slip feet, and one of its cross-members was broken.
Liquidation World Inc. pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing to ensure that the ladder had non-slip feet and was free from loose parts or other faults.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Dan MacDonald. 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Liquidation World Inc. was convicted under the Ontario ‘Industrial regulation 851, section 73(a) and (b) which states,
“A portable ladder shall,
a) Be free from broken or loose members or other faults
b) Have non-slip feet
How much simpler can it get! Mind you, we have a guest from England and she has a different outlook on all the H&S issues she is reading about. She explains that, in all things, common sense is the best tool to use when conducting workplace activities. Incorporated into all aspects of the workplace should be a sound foundation of health and safety features, which changes the state of mind for workers and the employers.
My training tells me that the employers are the last ones to understand H&S in the planning stages. It was not a big thing years ago and employers are hard-pressed to believe in them today.
Here we find that an investment for less than $300.00 to replace a defective ladder would have easily saved the company a hefty fine and loss of respect in the work community.
Would you work for them, I know I wouldn’t or at least I would have brought up the defective equipment and requested it to be replaced with sound and safe ones.
It is almost criminal to see an employer knowingly send an employee up a defective ladder. You wouldn’t have attempted this at home so why would you expect someone that works for you to do it willingly.
Expect your employee to say something.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Fall Protection’ and Working at Heights’. 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