Blog Post #203 – Tri City Materials Ltd. Fined $60,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Tri City Materials Ltd., a company that works with aggregates, was fined $60,000 on July 6, 2010, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused an injury to a worker.

On December 30, 2008, a worker was cleaning out a trailer that acted as a hopper for various materials. The truck attached to the trailer was left running because the hopper’s chute needed a source of power to remain open. During the cleaning process, another worker turned off the truck. This immediately closed the hopper’s chute gate, which caught first the worker’s leg.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the company’s procedure for safely cleaning the trailer required that it be locked out with its chute gate manually wedged open. The worker was not made familiar with this procedure or the hazards associated with cleaning out the trailer.

Tri City Materials Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to acquaint the worker with the hazards associated with cleaning out the trailer.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Gay. 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:

Tri City Materials Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of section 25 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), subsection 2(d) which states,

“An employer shall acquaint a worker or a person in authority over a worker with any hazard in the work and in the handling, storage, use, disposal and transport of any article, device, equipment or a biological, chemical or physical agent.”

The majority of the time, this section seems to deal with WHMIS issues more than any other but this time it is not the case. The ‘hazards associated with cleaning out the trailer’ was the issue.

The company was in possession of a proper procedure for this type of operation but failed to notify the supervisor or the operator of the safe application.

Again, we see another company keeping all the safe handling procedures to themselves, and another worker was injured. There was no need for this ever to happen.

I do hope that any company dealing the same way understand that the MOL feels the employers are first, and foremost, the first line of defense to protect the worker.

Section 25 of the OHSA makes sure that the employer is always the first one at the top of the suspect list.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need. 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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