Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Dashwood Industries Limited, a window and door manufacturer, was fined $65,000 on October 19, 2009, for a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.

On September 15, 2008, a worker at Dashwood’s facility in Centralia was dismantling the roof of a sound enclosure. The sound enclosure had been used to mute the sound from a line of milling machines that were no longer in use. The worker, on the roof of the enclosure, unhooked from the lifeline and moved to an access ladder to get down. The worker stepped on a plywood plank in front of the access ladder, and the plywood, which was not secured in place, slipped off the roof. The worker fell about four metres to the ground below, sustaining wrist and head injuries.

Dashwood Industries Limited pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing as an employer to ensure that the plywood covering was secured in place.

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:

Dashwood Industries Ltd., was found guilty for violating section 15(a) of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“A cover on an opening on a floor, roof or other surface shall be;

a) Secured in place

It seems that the competency standards for ‘Fall Protection’ were not followed once again.

1) The person must be trained and experienced to organize the work;
2) The person must know the ACT and the appropriate regulations; and
3) The person needs to know the associated hazards.

First of all, the employer must identify all fall hazards in the work place and have controls in place prior to any employee entering the work area. Obviously this was not done. If training was given then the employee would have recognized the hazard and he/she would have reported the issue and had it dealt with.

As far as I am concerned, there were more than one section violated. Section 25, 2(a), 2(c) and possibly 2(h) were in contravention. Section 27, 1( a) as well as 27, 2 (c) were also in contravention. Include the original violation and the company could have been on the hook for up to $100,000 in fines and the immediate supervisor could have received fines of up to $50,000. If the accident was more critical or deadly then the fines would have been increased.

I do hope their corrective action plan is more permanent and covers training.

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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