Blog Post #171 – Canadian Linen And Uniform Service Co. Fined $95,000 After Worker Injured

Blog Post #171 – Canadian Linen And Uniform Service Co. Fined $95,000 After Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Canadian Linen and Uniform Service Co. pleaded guilty and was fined $95,000 on November 25, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.

On March 9, 2007, at Canadian Linen’s Toronto location, an overhead conveyor carrying bags of soiled linen jammed. A worker climbed onto the metal net guarding under the conveyor and walked across it to reach the jammed area. The worker fell through the net to the concrete floor, over 3.7 metres below, and sustained broken wrists and head injuries.

Canadian Linen and Uniform Service Co. pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to take the reasonable precaution of having a safe procedure to clear jammed overhead conveyors.

The fine was imposed by Justice Brent Knazan. 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:

Canadian Linen and Uniform Service Company was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, 2(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

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

This section of the ACT is constantly being used more often than any others. If we look over the other 173 blogs on this website we will find at least 50 of them have used this particular section. It covers so much and most accidents would look to this section because the employer did not attempt to do everything reasonable to protect their workers. If they had, the accident probably would not have occurred.

The employer may feel they have everything under control but this is generally not the case. Some controls are either inadequate or non-existent and the incident/accident occurred anyway.

Canadian Linen should have been aware of the poor structure their people were walking on. In the future, they should develop a proper procedure to deal with this type of problem and investigate to see if all aspects of the control and procedure is sufficient to handle the loads. In this case, the screened area was going to be used as a temporary walking surface and, therefore, must meet the stress requirements of the building code. The structure may have been built as a screened in conveyor guard but it now is a temporary walking surface and subject to other stress requirements.

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 including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Safe Operating Procedures’. 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
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

Dan
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