Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Millard Refrigerated Services Canada ULC, a Brampton warehousing and distribution facility, was fined $75,000 on September 11, 2009, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a young worker was injured.

On March 8, 2008, the temporary worker was putting stickers on boxes and manually loading them into a trailer. While a supervisor was on a break, the worker tried using a stand up lifting device to move the boxes. While operating the device in reverse, the worker lost control, and it crashed through a closed loading door and fell over, pinning the worker’s leg to the ground. The worker suffered foot and ankle injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the worker had not received any safety training from Millard Refrigerated Services.

Millard Refrigerated Services pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to the worker with respect to the safety rules for temporary employees.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Hilda Weiss. 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:

Millard Refrigerated Services Canada was found guilty of contravening the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection (2) (a) which states,

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

The most basic of the employer’s responsibilities under the ACT!

How could employers not understand this basic fundamental responsibility? Every employee needs to be given the tools to do their work. This includes instruction and all the pertinent information to complete the task.

The forklift, in question, looks to have been a class ‘2’, a narrow aisle stand up vehicle. As a forklift trainer, it has been my experience to provide a practicum for the operator of up to 3 hours for this type of machine. Most others could get by with 1 to 1.5 hours but this type of vehicle is unique. It has a drive steering system known as ‘reverse steering’. It is also recommended that, since a seat belt does not come with one of these due to the stand up nature, the entire body remain inside the confines of the vehicle.

The company could have easily been convicted of section 51, subsection 2 which states,

“A lifting device shall be operated by a competent person or a worker being instructed who is accompanied by a competent worker.”

In reality, this person was NOT competent under the ACT.

I will not re-submit the three qualifications needed to be competent under the OHSA. It is enough that my readership will research this themselves. It can be found just before the ACT under the ‘definitions’ section.

Happy hunting!

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 ‘Workplace Safety training’, ‘Forklift Certification’ and ‘Forklift Re-Certification’. 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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