Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Waldemar Kozuchowski, sole proprietor of Infinity Marble of Canada, a synthetic marble and granite manufacturing company, was fined $17,000 for failing to comply with inspectors’ orders.
On May 22, 2009, Ministry of Labour inspectors visited Mr. Kozuchowski’s business in Carleton Place, ON. They noticed several health and safety violations and issued Mr. Kozuchowski orders to comply with the legislation. Inspectors made several follow up visits but the violations remained and the inspectors had to write more orders. Between May 22, 2009 and May 5, 2010, inspectors wrote a total of 23 orders for various violations. Of those orders, 15 were not complied with and mostly related to the following violations:
– Flammable liquids were improperly stored;
– The mixing area was not properly ventilated;
– There was no system to contain spills;
– The spray booth was missing a make-up air system;
– Material safety data sheets for controlled products were not readily available to workers;
– Housekeeping practices were not adequate to control dust hazards; and
– Mr. Kozuchowski failed to ensure that workers wore respirators.
One of the orders, issued March 4, 2010, was a stop work order on the spray booth due to inadequate air flow. Mr. Kozuchowski admitted in court that he continued using the spray booth despite the stop work order.
Mr. Kozuchowski was found guilty of 15 counts of failing to comply with an order issued by an inspector. He was fined $3,000 for failing to comply with the stop work order and $1,000 for failing to comply with each of 14 additional orders.
The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Jacques Desjardins. 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Mr. Kozuchowski was found guilty of a contravention of section 66 (1) (b) of the OHSA which states,
“Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with,
b) An order or requirement of an inspector or a Director is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to an imprisonment for a term of not more than twelve months, or to both.”
There is an appeal process. One of the duties of the ‘OLRB’ or the ‘Ontario Labour Relations Board’ is to hear the appeals. One does not refuse the orders given by the MOL inspectors or can be subject to hefty fines for ignoring the orders. Section 66 of the ACT is laid out to allow workers, employers and supervisors to review the current monetary levels for fines. A company can also be charged with fines up to $500,000 as well and that could be above the personal fines levied out.
Mr. Kozuchowski was probably an autocrat used to having his own way. The MOL is the watchdog for the Ontario government to ensure that workers in the workplace are better protected and not subject to ‘old boy’ mentality.
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’, ‘Health and Safety Law’ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.