Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Excel Heavy Haul Transportation Inc. was fined $50,000 on April 13, 2010, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused a serious injury to a worker.
On April 24, 2008, at the company’s facility in Tecumseh, a worker was attaching rigging to a machine so it could be lifted onto a trailer. Workers from Excel Machinery Sales, a related company, were helping. During the rigging process, a trailer was backed through an open bay door into the first worker, whose back was turned. The worker was pinned to the machine, and a protruding handle on the machine pierced the worker’s leg.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the trailer was driven by another worker employed by Excel Heavy Haul Transportation Inc. That worker had backed the trailer into the bay without a full view of the area behind the trailer, and without the help of a signaler, or someone to guide the trailer.
Excel Heavy Haul Transportation Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the driver used a signaler to help guide the trailer into the bay.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman. 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Excel Heavy Haul Transportation was found guilty of violating section 56 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,
“Where the operator of a vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment does not have full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment crane or similar material handling equipment or its load, the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment shall only be operated as directed by a signaler who is competent person and who is stationed,
a) In full view of the operator,
b) With a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load, and
c) Clear of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load.”
Can you believe a trailer was backed into a bay door without even knowing who or what was in the path of travel? Can you picture this at the entrance of a loading dock area prior to the backing up to a loading dock? The loading dock area is expected to be clear of people and the drivers are allowed the time needed to back up, line up and seat the trailer to the loading dock door. This is a given. At an open bay door of a plant, the expectations are totally different. The trailer is the alien here and the expectation should have been to have had a spotter clearing the way for the trailer to ensure that no employee is in any danger.
Talk about stupid!
I do hope that this employer has, as part of their permanent corrective action plan, review the training of the employers in loading dock safety and the proposed entry of unscheduled trailer activity. I would wager that the MOL would require this to close off the case.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.