Five employers fined under OHSA

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Fines totalling over $330,000 have recently been imposed by courts on five employers for violations of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

Deflecto Canada Ltd. was fined $33,000 for failing to take all reasonable precautions to protect a worker who was seriously injured while cleaning a punch press that suddenly activated. The punch press was not equipped with a safety device which would have prevented it from activating while being cleaned.

Punch presses were also involved in two separate incidents which occurred at Guelph Tool & Die Limited. In the first incident, a punch press not equipped with a proper guarding device crushed an employee’s thumb. In the second incident, the parts of a newly set up punch press were not properly aligned and shattered when the machine was activated, causing serious injuries to an employee’s face. The company pleaded guilty and was fined $120,000.

Dominion Castings Limited was fined $60,000 for failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. He was injured when a metal frame fell on him, breaking his leg and causing nerve damage to his foot. In handing down the fine, the court commented that it could not overlook the fact that the worker had suffered permanent damage.

Three violations of the OHSA were found in an accident involving an overhead crane at National Steel Car Limited. Two workers were injured when 27 tons of steel plates slipped from the crane. The plates hit flat trays on the ground, sending them flying toward the workers. The company was found guilty of failing to ensure the overhead crane was not overloaded, failing to ensure that materials would not fall while being transported, and failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to workers on the safe lifting method for a double crane lift. A fine of $60,000 was imposed.

Factor Forms Niagara Ltd. was fined $60,000 for a violation of the OHSA which resulted in the death of a 31-year-old supervisor who received a fatal electric shock while attempting to repair a machine while the power was on. The company pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable precautions to ensure that only a qualified person performed repairs on the machine.

For more information on this subject, please contact Jacques A. Emond at (613) 563-7660, Extension 224.