Death and injuries at work led to several Ministry of Labour fines recently, for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
In Ottawa Ontario Court of Justice, Digsafe Inc., an excavation company, was fined $125,000 for a violation. One Digsafe worker was killed, and two others working for another subcontractor were injured, while working near power lines in March of 2012. They were installing new hydro poles and wires, under energized lines.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that all three workers received electrical shocks. The two surviving workers were treated at hospital and did not suffer permanent physical injuries.
Digsafe pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that the vehicle boom was not brought within three metres of the energized power line. Justice of the Peace John Balkwill fined the company Nov. 12.
Safety Equipment on Production Line
In Brampton provincial court, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, based in Halifax, N.S., has been fined $70,000 for an OHSA violation. A worker in a Brampton plant was injured in 2010. The worker reached inside a gate on a production-line machine. His arm was broken when it was pinched between two pieces of equipment.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that a hazard on the equipment, which endangered the safety of a worker, was equipped as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Justice of the Peace Richard Quon fined the company Nov. 12, in London Ontario Court of Justice.
Watermain Pipe Strikes Worker
Pachecos Contractors Ltd., of London, a sewer and watermain contractor, was fined $55,000 for a June 2012 accident. Workers drilling on a site near a high school tried to pull out a pipe that had become stuck, using a backhoe, pull-head and a chain. The pipe snapped and flung backwards; the chain and pull-head were thrown into the backhoe cab, hitting the worker in the head. He suffered extensive injuries.
Pachecos pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that the hooks attaching the chain to the pull-head and to the backhoe were equipped with safety catches. Justice of the Peace Charles D. Anderson levied the fine Nov. 12, in London’s Ontario Court of Justice.
A 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge is added to each fine, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge goes to a provincial fund to help victims of crime.