Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’
Royal Edge Incorporated, a Brampton company that makes edge banding products for materials such as kitchen countertops, was fined $40,000 on May 12, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), for failing to comply with an order issued by a Ministry of Labour Health and Safety Inspector. Royal Edge Incorporated director Peter Boussoulas was also fined $4,000 for failing to ensure the company complied with multiple orders issued by an inspector.
On August 16, 2007, a Ministry of Labour Industrial Health and Safety Inspector visited the Royal Edge factory at 1600 Clark Boulevard in Brampton to conduct an inspection and discovered unguarded rollers on an edging machine and issued an order requiring the company to guard the device by August 20, 2007.
Prior to this visit, the inspector had been to this workplace on seven occasions between June 27, 2006, and July 23, 2007. Over the course of those inspections, the inspector issued a total of 13 orders relating to guarding violations at the workplace. The inspector issued additional orders for other violations for a total of forty-four orders in the course of nine visits.
The inspector returned to the workplace on October 9, 2007, to monitor compliance with the orders. As of that time, 24 of the 44 orders were not complied with, including the August 16 guarding order. On October 9 the inspector noted a total of six guarding violations on the company’s nine production lines.
Royal Edge Incorporated pleaded guilty under the OHSA of failing to comply with an order issued by an inspector. Peter Boussoulas failed as a director to ensure that Royal Edge Incorporated complied with multiple orders of an inspector contrary to the OHSA.
The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace D. Florence. In addition to the fines, 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:
Royal Edge Inc., was found guilty of a contravention of section 66 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety ACT, subsection 1(b) which states,
“Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with an order or requirement of an inspector or a Director, is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to an imprisonment for a term of not more than 12 months, or to both.”
Company Director, Peter Boussoulas, was found guilty under section 32 of the ACT, subsection 1(b),
“Every director and every officer of a corporation shall take all reasonable care to ensure that the corporation complies with orders and requirements of inspectors and Directors.”
Again, we see another corporation feeling it is necessary to bump heads with the MOL. The ACT is the law and the MOL inspectors are the enforcers of the ACT.
There is an appeal process to the Ontario Labour Relations Board. (OLRB) You can appeal the order but you cannot ignore it!
A well-informed H&S Co-ordinator would have kept Royal Edge Inc. from the disgrace and costs from non-compliance. There are certainly going to be increased WSIB premiums for the non-compliance.
Why would any company want that!
By the way, Royal Edge Inc. seems to have gotten off lucky. They were in serious violation of section 24 of the Industrial Regulations 851,
“Where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”
Since Royal Edge Inc. had an open number of violations, (20), they still could have received up to an additional $500,000 in fines, not including the 25% surcharge and any other additional fines to the directors and/or employers/supervisors.
I think they got off lucky.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. 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.