Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Furfari Paving Co. Ltd., a Toronto-based company, was fined $110,000 on July 13, 2010, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed.

On July 30, 2008, two workers employed by Furfari were operating an asphalt road milling machine, otherwise known as a “grinder,” to remove the top layer of asphalt from a section of Dixie Rd. between Eglinton Ave. and Matheson Blvd. in Mississauga. Other machines were in use nearby, including a pavement cutter operated by a third worker, who was cutting and sealing cracks in the wake of the grinder. The two workers finished removing the top layer of asphalt and operated the grinder in reverse. When they stopped, they saw that the third worker had been caught underneath the grinder and crushed.

Ministry of Labour investigators found that the driver of the grinder had an obstructed view while using the controls, and that the operators of the grinder were not assisted by a signaler.

Furfari Paving Co. Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the operator of a vehicle was assisted by a signaler when his or her view of the path of travel was obstructed.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Barnes. 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:

The Furfari Paving Company Ltd. was found guilty of violating section 104(3) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“Operators of vehicles, machines and equipment shall be assisted by signalers if either of the following applies:

1. The operator’s view of the intended path of travel is obstructed; and
2. A person could be endangered by the vehicle, machine or equipment or by its load.”

Furfari Paving Company needed to review either the previous passage of the ‘Construction’ regulation OR at least looked at the manufacturer’s manual for the asphalt road milling machine. The intent of any manufacturer is to encourage the safe application of their products by adding a section in most manuals titled, “Safety features and safety application.” This type of machine would most certainly include such information and it is incumbent on the vehicle owners to review the safety highlights of the manufacturer prior to any of their employees using the machines. In a nutshell, the employer shall do everything reasonable in the circumstance for the protection of the worker. (Sounds like section 25, subsection 2(h) of the ACT, does it not?)

In closing,

I need to reaffirm my position that all employers understand that the health and safety of any and all of their workers has to be the employer’s TOP priority. Any position other than that is totally unacceptable. Now the reader understands my need to continue to add more and more health and safety postings on my blog. Someone has to tell the worker’s side of the story. This worker did not have a chance to voice his/her opinion.

The MOL works very hard on the worker’s behalf. I believe it is my job, and that of others in the health and safety field, to aid the MOL in this endeavour.

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. 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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