Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Sousa Ready Mix (1011786 Ontario Inc.) of Glenburnie was fined $80,000 on October 22, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.

On October 22, 2007, a Sousa worker was trying to clear sand from a conveyor while it was in motion. The worker’s arm got caught in the conveyor and was seriously injured.

After trial, Sousa Ready Mix was found guilty under the OHSA of failing as an employer to ensure that the conveyor was cleared only when motion that would endanger the worker had been stopped and the conveyor properly blocked to prevent movement.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Lorraine A. Watson. In addition to the fine, the court also 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:

Sousa Ready Mix was convicted for a contravention of section 75 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ sector regulation 851/90, which states,

“A part of a machine shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when,

a) Motion that may endanger a worker has stopped; and
b) Any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement.”

Here we have another company wanting NOT to stop the production line for something simple like maintenance. NO!!! We will do the work while production is in motion. NO, we have never had an accident this way so everyone be careful but DO NOT STOP THE LINE!! Sound familiar?

This type of mentality is still out there. Maybe not to the extent it once was but it is still out there.

The worker’s health and safety MUST be included in all aspects of the business and should be part of the initial stage of the building of the business.

This company needed someone who is up on the Industrial regulation 851, as well as the OHSA. If Sousa Ready Mix had hired someone who knew their way around the rules and regulations, there would be a good chance the MOL would not have been called as preventative maintenance of the equipment would have been completed during off hours where as few people as possible would be involved.

Too bad for Sousa Ready Mix! They could have hired a H&S contractor to set them on the right path and I bet you it would not have cost them $80,000.

Oh yes, I forgot the 25% surcharge. Add another $20,000 and we see a total fine of $100,000. Yes, prevention would have been the better, safer and a cheaper way to go.

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 ‘SOPs ‘and ‘Due Diligence’. 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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