One Killed, One Paralyzed – Auto Wrecker, Home Depot Fined

trip-hazard

Two companies have been fined recently under Provincial Offences Act prosecutions related to workplace safety.

Plank Road Auto Wreckers Ltd., a Sarnia auto wrecking company, was fined $60,000 for an accident that killed a worker.

Justice of the Peace Anna Hampson levied the fine in a July 21 sentencing hearing.

Ontario Court of Justice in Sarnia heard that in September, 2012, a worker employed by Plank Road Auto Wreckers Ltd. was preparing a car to be scrapped. The worker propped the front of the car on a fuel tank and began working underneath to drain the car’s fluids. The car slid off the fuel tank. The worker was fatally injured.

Plank Road Auto Wreckers Ltd., pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that machinery, equipment or material that was temporarily elevated and under which a worker worked was securely and solidly blocked to prevent the machinery, equipment or material from falling or moving.

The charges filed were under: Ontario Regulation 851, Section 74; and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 25(1)(c).

Beam Missing – Worker Paralyzed

In another case, Home Depot of Canada Inc. was fined $90,000 for an April, 2013 incident in Bradford. Justice of the Peace Brian O. Norton passed sentence July 22 in Ontario Court of Justice, Barrie.

A worker was injured by falling merchandise. Court heard that a worker was preparing to receive a load of merchandise from a trailer backed into the receiving area of the store.

One worker opened a bay door while another was moving items on the floor to clear a path for merchandise from the trailer. As the top of the door rolled away from the door frame, it came into contact with a pallet of patio doors. The pallet tipped and fell, striking the worker beneath. The worker suffered head injuries, resulting in paralysis and fractures.

A Ministry of Labour investigation followed. The original engineered design of the racking system had provided for a steel beam. Had it been installed as planned, it would have prevented the placement of the pallets of patio doors on the overhead racks. The beam was not installed.

In addition, a bottom beam of the overhead rack had been installed 12 inches higher than the maximum allowed on the engineered plan. This contravened a provincial safety regulation that requires objects in a workplace to be placed or stored in such a way as not to tip or fall.

Home Depot of Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by law were carried out in the workplace.

The convictions were for breaches of: Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 25 (1)(c); and Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments), Section 45(b)(i)

A 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act, is added to the fines. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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