Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

2236697 Ontario Inc., carrying on business as Delta Truck Equipment, a truck maintenance company, was fined $100,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed. Phillip Hutton, a supervisor, was fined $15,000 in relation to the same incident.

On June 9, 2010, at the company’s shop in Breslau, ON, Mr. Hutton was doing maintenance on a hydraulic crane. He had mounted the crane onto a truck and determined that some of the hydraulic fluid in the crane needed to be drained. As he went to drain the fluid, a worker monitored the fluid level. During this procedure, the crane’s boom swung around to pin the worker against the truck’s control panel, fatally crushing the worker.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Mr. Hutton had left the hydraulics of the crane engaged and the truck’s engine running during the procedure.

2236697 Ontario Inc., carrying on business as Delta Truck Equipment, pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that the truck’s engine was off and/or the hydraulics of the crane were disengaged before draining the hydraulic fluid. Phillip Hutton pleaded guilty to the same.

The fines were imposed by Justice Gary Hearn. 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:

Delta Truck Equipment was found guilty of violating section 25 (2) (h) of the OHSA which states,

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

Supervisor, Phillip Hutton, was found guilty of violating section 27 (2)(c) of the OHSA which states,

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

It is my guess that the Ministry of Labour felt that this was a blatant disregard for the protection of the worker by both the employer and his/her supervisor.

The two passages listed above, especially section 25, (2)(h), is used more than almost any others. There may not have been a precise section of the ACT or appropriate regulations so the old stand-by was used.

I also wonder if, in the $100,000 fine includes section 25 (2) (c) which states,

“The employer when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.” If they did not, well, they should have been.

It is too late for the worker but this is a good reminder to all employers to educate and train your supervisors and let them know that they can be held liable if the worker comes to any harm.

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 ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard 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.

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