Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Zimmcor (1993) Inc., a Concord, Ont., company that assembles curtain walls, was fined $50,000 on May 16, 2011, after a worker was seriously injured and for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
On January 23, 2009, workers were trying to move a cart holding 22-foot-long aluminum extrusions, which was wedged between other carts. A worker was positioned between the cart that they were trying to move and another cart. As the worker pushed on the load while others pulled, the cart tipped over. The load fell and fractured the worker’s leg. A co-worker tried to remove adjacent bundles of extrusions with a forklift to access the tipped cart, but inadvertently touched the cart and further extrusions fell on the injured worker’s leg.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found the extrusions were not properly balanced or secured on the cart.
An inspector revisited the workplace on January 26, 2009, and observed that shields on a double-bladed chop saw were tied with metal holdbacks. This rendered the shields ineffective as a means of protecting workers from the hazards posed by the saw’s moving blades.
Zimmcor Inc. pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to ensure that the load being transported, placed or stored would not tip, collapse or fall, and to ensure that the load could be removed or withdrawn without endangering the worker. The employer also pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable precaution of ensuring that the shields on a double-bladed chop saw were not rendered ineffective by metal holdbacks.
Zimmcor Inc. was fined $45,000 for the first count and $5,000 for the second. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Malik Asad. 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:
Zimmcor Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 45(b) of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,
“Materials, articles or things,
b) 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 Can be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of any worker.”
Zimmcor Inc. was also found guilty of violating 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.”
The same story, just another day! Has anyone not picked up on the fact that the stories are getting quite regular and the fines do not seem to be getting through to any of the employers?
I, Daniel L. Beal, CHSEP, teach Basic Certification — Level 1 and we discussed section 25, subsection 2(h) in particular. I mentioned to a class of 10 that at least 40+ of the over 340 blog posts created by me had the MOL used 25, subsection 2(h) as the contravention by the employer. I find this to be useful for teaching as this particular passage seems generic in nature. The ‘go to’ passage when we cannot find a specific passage for the contravention.
I would like to end my opinion by stating that all companies need to review the relevant sections of the OHSA and appropriate regulations. If I had my way, all employers would be given a sufficient crash course on health and safety to at least give their workforce a chance to be safer than they are. All companies have the potential of being a safe company. Push them in the right direction and one never knows where one will end up. I would also encourage the MOL to suggest each company, that has been convicted of a contravention, to hire, at least for the short term, a health and safety expert to get them off on the right foot.
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’, ‘Material Handling’ 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.