Blog Post #160 – Marble Unlimited Fined $50,000 After Young Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’

648468 Ontario Inc., carrying on business as Marble Unlimited, an Ottawa manufacturer of synthetic marble and natural stone counter-tops, was fined $50,000 on November 19, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a young worker was injured.

On May 7, 2008, workers were moving marble and granite slabs in an outdoor storage yard. The slabs were leaning on their sides on “A frame” storage racks. A young worker tilted one of the slabs forward so that it stood on its edge. The weight of the slab shifting caused the worker to lose balance and fall backwards. The slab, weighing over 440 kilograms, fell and pinned the worker against another storage rack. The worker suffered a broken arm.

648468 Ontario Inc. pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that the slabs were removed from the storage racks in a manner that did not endanger the safety of any worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Paulina Brecher. 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:

Marble Unlimited was found guilty for a contravention of the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851, section 45 ((c) which states,

“Material, articles or things, to be removed from a storage area, pile or rack, shall be removed in a manner that will not endanger the safety of any worker.”

I feel the MOL did a solid investigation and the investigator had to be real versed on the ‘Industrial’ side of the regulations to find the section for ‘Material Handling’ under section 45.

Marble Unlimited will have put into place all corrective action that the MOL will deem necessary to ensure that there will be no recurrence.

There are many other sections covered under Material Handling and the Carswell version of the ACT and the appropriate regulations are really well-defined and easier to locate what is needed. I hope that all H&S coordinators have the latest copy of the Carswell version. It is much easier to read and the Carswell has other sectors such as Construction, Healthcare and others that will make the day-to-day planning of Health and Safety that much easier.

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 ‘Material Handling’ and ‘Lifting Techniques’. 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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