Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Bosch Rexroth Canada Corp., a Welland company that manufactures and sells hydraulic systems, was fined $80,000 on November 19, 2010, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused a worker to be injured. Ken Grant, a supervisor with the company, was fined $8,000 in relation to the same incident.

On December 23, 2009, a worker was testing the hydraulics of a pump at the company’s Welland factory. After finishing the test, the worker cut power to the pump. However, hydraulic pressure continued to build in the system, eventually causing an explosion. A hose flew back at high speed and struck the worker in the head, resulting in critical injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the hydraulic circuit in the system was not equipped with any means of relieving pressure that accumulated beyond the system’s capabilities.

After a trial, Bosch Rexroth Canada Corp. was found guilty of failing, as an employer, to ensure that the hydraulic circuit was equipped with a means to relieve pressure.

After a trial, Ken Grant was found guilty of failing, as a supervisor, to ensure that workers were not exposed to the dangers of working with a hydraulic circuit that was not equipped with a means to relieve pressure.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Richard Bisson. In addition to the fines, 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:

Bosch Rexroth Canada Corp was found guilty of violating section 25 of the OHSA, subsection 2(h) which states,

“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

Ken Grant, the supervisor, was found guilty of violating section 27 of the OHSA, subsection 2 (c) which states,

“A supervisor shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

As you can see, the employer and the supervisor have a major responsibility to protect their workers. Sections 25 and 26, of the ACT, cover the responsibility of the employer and section 27 covers those of the supervisor.

Section 27 should be fully explained to the supervisor during company orientation. If not, then the supervisor is not competent under the ACT and the employer is in violation of section 25, subsection 2(c) which states,

“The employer, when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.”

The information is there for all to see. I would suggest that employers and supervisors receive ‘Basic Certification’ training, level 1, just to be on the safe side. The course covers almost everything needed to promote health and safety in the workplace.

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 ‘The Supervisor and Health and Safety Law’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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