Blog Post #163 – Toromont Industries Ltd. Fined $75,000 After Worker Critically Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Toromont Industries Ltd., carrying on business as Toromont CAT, a heavy equipment dealer, was fined $75,000 on November 16, 2009, for a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was critically injured.

On April 8, 2008, at Toromont’s London dealership, a technician was working on a piece of heavy equipment that had come in for maintenance. The machinery had arrived missing part of the guard over its engine fan. While doing maintenance, the worker passed a hand over the opening in the guard. The worker’s hand was pulled into the engine fan and amputated.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that although the worker had received safety training, Toromont had no procedure in place to assess hazards during maintenance work.

Toromont Industries Ltd. pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing, as an employer, to take the reasonable precaution of implementing a safe work procedure relating to hazard assessment before or during maintenance.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Sonia Aleong. In addition to the fine, the court also 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:

Toromont Industries Ltd. was convicted for a contravention of section 25 sub-section 2(h) of the OHSA which states,

“The employer shall,

take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

I am using this particular piece of information to enforce this particular issue. I was recently involved with a company that was purchasing a large rough terrain forklift and found that the machine came to them without guard flaps on both sides of the motor area. This opening left the fan belt less than 12 inches from contact . I was amazed that a manufacturer would send a vehicle to a client that did not meet section 31 (b) of the OHSA which states,

“Every person who supplies any machine, device, tool or equipment shall ensure that the machine, device, tool or equipment complies with the ACT and the regulations.”

It is my opinion that the supplier, I was just talking about, was in violation of section 24 of the Ontario regulation 851, and section 185 of the Ontario ‘Mining’ regulation 854 which states,

“When a machine or prime mover has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine will be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”

In closing,

If you are a leasing company or a manufacturer, please review the regulations in Ontario. If your machine or prime mover does not comply with the ACT and the appropriate regulations, you can and will be held accountable. Why take any chances with your employee or your customer’s safety.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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