Blog Post #125 – Ventra Group Co. Fined $65,000 After Worker Injured

Blog Post #125 – Ventra Group Co. Fined $65,000 After Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’

Ventra Group Co., a Nova Scotia manufacturer of vehicle parts carrying on business as Veltri Canada – Howard Division in Ontario, was fined $65,000 on August 11, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.

On September 17, 2007, at the company’s plant in Windsor, a forklift operator was walking to the shipping area. Another forklift operator was driving a forklift to the same area, but using a different aisle. The first worker crossed the intersection of the two aisles and was hit by the forklift driven by the second operator. The worker was thrown about five meters and sustained head injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that there were no stop signs or other safeguards posted in that area.

Ventra Group Co. pleaded guilty, under the OHSA, to failing to ensure barriers, warning signs, or other safeguards were used where vehicle or pedestrian traffic could endanger the safety of a worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Elaine Babcock. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, 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:

Ventra Group Co. was found guilty of  contravention of the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 20 which states,

“Barriers, warning signs or other safeguards for the protection of all workers in an area shall be used where vehicle or pedestrian traffic may endanger the safety of any workers.”

How could Ventra not understand and put in place a barrier to keep unwanted or at risk employees away from known hazards? They should have had a walkway made out for pedestrian traffic only and mark the area so everyone would know the right zones for them to be in as well as the wrong zones, those meant for forklift traffic only.

In most places, the emphasis is to have the employee make every attempt to make eye contact with the forklift driver to let them know they are in their work area. This type of safety concern as well as mirrors and barriers would have gone a long way into stopping an accident like this from happening in the first place.

I bet they have the proper corrective action in now!

Good for them , too bad for the employee.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘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

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

Dan
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