Liquor Control Board Convicted & Fined $100,000 for Pallet Incident
A worker for the Liquor Control Board was moving a pallet of product using a forklift at a store. As he began to insert the forks into the pallet, he heard a sound that caused him to get out of the forklift and investigate. The product on the pallet then fell on him, causing injuries. A court found that there were systemic problems at this location, including multiple safety concerns from workers that weren’t responded to and a worker being given forklift duties despite having out-of-date training. So, the court convicted the Board of a safety offence and fined it $100,000 [Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Govt. News Release, April 19, 2017].
Guarding Violation Results in $70,000 Fine for Food Company
A food company worker operating a yogurt filling machine noticed that a yogurt tube was stuck on the line and tried to free it by hand. His hand made contact with the machine’s blades and was injured. An MOL investigation found that guards that would’ve prevented the worker’s hand from making contact with the blade weren’t in place while the blade was moving. The company pleaded guilty to a guarding violation and was fined $70,000 [Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd., Govt. News Release, April 20, 2017].
Chaining Emergency Exit Doors Closed Results in $9,750 Fine for Hotel
After vandalism and other issues to the emergency exit doors of a ballroom, a hotel chained and locked the doors so they couldn’t be opened from either side. A group rented the ballroom, saw the chained doors and complained to the fire department. The firemen told hotel staff to remove the chain and lock, which they did. The hotel pleaded guilty to violating the fire code by failing to keep a means of egress free of obstructions. At sentencing, both the hotel and government asked for a $3,000 fine to be imposed. But the court said the hotel knew the emergency exit doors weren’t in good repair. Rather than incurring the expense of repairing the doors, which ultimately cost about $5,000, it chose the less expensive course of buying a lock and chain and obstructing the exit. The court concluded that the public would be concerned if a company that failed to maintain a fire exit in good repair got a fine less than the cost of repairing the doors and so it imposed a $9,750 fine (about twice the cost of repairs) [R. v. Sobha Investments Ltd.,  ABPC 55 (CanLII), March 21, 2017].
Employer Fined $28,575 After Worker Is Knocked Down by Steel Beam
A worker fell and hit his head on a cement floor when he was knocked to the ground by a steel beam. His employer pleaded guilty to failing to ensure, where a worker may be endangered by the rotation or motion of a load during hoisting, that one or more taglines are used to control the rotation or motion of a load, thereby causing a serious injury to a worker. It was fined $28,575 [Kelsey Pipeline, Govt. News Release, March 17, 2017].
Employer Penalized $48,750 After Worker Is Burned Cutting Barrel
A worker was using an oxygen acetylene cutting torch to cut a hole on the top of a metal 45-gallon barrel. As soon as the torch pierced the top of the barrel, flames shot out a filler hole, burning his face and left forearm. The barrel hadn’t been properly purged of its flammable contents before the task was performed. The employer pleaded guilty to failing to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the safety, health, and welfare of its worker and was ordered to pay $48,750 in fines and surcharges [Maxim Transportation Services Inc., Govt. News Release, April 20, 2017].
Guardrail Order Against Construction Company Upheld
After an inspection of a construction project, the inspector issued the construction company a compliance order requiring it to ensure that guardrails meeting the requirements in the OHS laws are installed and maintained at all elevator shafts on all levels. The company challenged the order, claiming that it’d exercised due diligence by relying on advice from its safety consultant and the elevator installer. The Labour Board disagreed. The company didn’t present any evidence from the elevator installer or the safety consultant, which undermines its due diligence defence. In addition, the inspector chose to impose the order on the construction company because he believed it was the entity most responsible for, and with the greatest control over, the safety program [S.A. Construction & Renovations Limited (Re),  NSLB 43 (CanLII), March 29, 2017].
Superintendent Charged over Incident at Landfill
The WSCC filed charges under the Nunavut Safety Act against the Superintendent of Public Works with the City of Iqaluit, including failing to ensure supervisors had completed an approved regulatory familiarization program. These charges are in addition to those previously filed against the City of Iqaluit, a supervisor and a worker in relation to an incident in which a worker was injured while working at the Iqaluit landfill when a garbage truck drove over him [Joseph Brown, Govt. News Release, April 12, 2017].