Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
TRW Canada Ltd., a large automotive supplier with head offices in Toronto, was fined $60,000 on October 15, 2010, after pleading guilty for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused an injury to a worker.
On May 6, 2009, at the company’s machine shop in St. Catharines, a worker was unloading parts from a threading machine. The worker got entangled with the end of the part being machined and sustained injuries in one arm.
A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the machine which the injured worker was operating was not equipped with, and guarded by, a guard or other device to prevent access to the hazard.
TRW Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by Occupational Health and Safety Act were carried out.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace D. Cowan. 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
TRW Canada Ltd. was guilty of a contravention of section 26 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,
“A machine shall be shielded or guarded so that the product, material being processed or waste stock will not endanger the safety of any worker.”
The Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 includes many sections on Machine Guarding, beginning with section 24. In fact, the above scenario easily could have used section 24 instead of 26. Either one would have sufficed.
All companies MUST ensure that they read the appropriate sections of the sector regulations prior to any worker starting to work. (that includes machine guarding) Could you imagine the horror of anyone buying a table saw from Home Depot and finding out that the guards are not included in the packaging?
I believe TRW Canada Ltd. could have also been charged with section 25 (2h) and section 27 (2c). The sections are the same and appropriate for many violations in the workplace, and they state,
“The employer or supervisor must take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
I think you, the reader, may agree with me here.
Health and safety in the workplace is a really a fundamental change in attitude by all levels in a workplace. It is a change in mindset and it needs to be supported by upper management. Safety does not have to be a costly thing. Only after an accident does it get costly. The MOL has to come in and clean up the mess because the company didn’t know their responsibilities under the law.
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 ‘Machine Guarding’. 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.