Excerpt From the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Liteline Management Company Limited, a Brampton distributor of lighting products, was fined $50,000 on September 4, 2009, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.
On January 9, 2008, a worker was vacuuming cleaning products and stacking them on a skid. A skid of cardboard fell from a nearby industrial rack, striking the worker. The worker, who was pushed into the cleaning machine, suffered fractures to the spine and shoulder, and was cut and bruised on the hand and leg.
The skid of cardboard had fallen from the top of a rack that was back-to-back with another rack. A worker on the other side of the racks had been using a forklift to remove a skid behind the one that fell. The forklift had dislodged the skid of cardboard, causing it to fall. There were no safeguards in place to prevent material from falling into the work area.
Liteline pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing to ensure that the skid was lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards that it would not endanger the safety of any worker.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Jeannie Anand. 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,
Liteline was convicted for a contravention of section 45(a) of the ‘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, article or things does not endanger the safety of any worker.”
Here we find the company not understanding that all material on racking needs to be secured from falling onto the work surface or onto any workers. The forklift operator needed to know this before dislodging the material that eventually made contact with the other worker. He or she may have refused the unsafe work and began a work refusal.
The company may also been convicted of section 25 of the ACT, subsection 2(c) which states,
“The employer, when appointing a supervisor, must appoint a competent person.”
This means the supervisor needs to know the hazards in the workplace and strive to protect the workers in his/her care by providing instruction, information and supervision so the worker can better protect his/herself. This additional information can be found in section 25, subsection 2(a). At $25,000 maximum per contravention we can see Liteline Management Company ltd. got off easy.
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’. 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.