Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

James Douglas Warner, operating as Warner Orchards in Beamsville, was fined $3,000 on January 21, 2011, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused an injury to a worker.

On May 18, 2010, a worker from Warner Orchards was driving a tractor between farms on North Service Rd. in Beamsville. A vehicle hit the tractor from behind, causing the tractor to roll over. The worker’s leg was seriously injured.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the worker was driving a tractor equipped with a roll-over protection structure (ROPS) but it was not engaged at the time of the incident. Furthermore, the worker had never been instructed on the ROPS and its proper use. Although the worker’s injuries may not have been prevented if the ROPS system was engaged, ROPSs are an important safety precaution when tractors are operated on a public road.

James Douglas Warner, operating as Warner Orchards, pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the worker’s safety when operating a tractor equipped with a roll-over protection structure.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Ronald Whalen. 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:

Warner Orchards was found guilty of violating section 25 sub-section 2(a) which states,

“The employer shall provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of that worker.”

There is an Ontario regulation that applies to farming. (414/05) As you can see, it was not used in this case but could have been. The fine was small as well as $3,000 is a pittance when it comes to injury rehab. Mind you, I have not been able to find a conviction stemming from a violation from Ontario ‘Farming’ regulation 414/05.

It is my understanding that ‘Commercial’ farms are being brought under the OHSA. It will take a lot more effort to bring the family farm under the same legislation.

It is too bad. The worker/owner get injured on the farm and OHIP pays the bills. Accidents can happen anywhere, even on the family farm so rules and regulations need apply here as well.

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.

CHSEP – Foundation Level
Daniel L. Beal
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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