REGINA, Sask. — Clark Roofing Regina Ltd. was fined $7,000 on Jan. 21, after a worker was injured in a fall. On July 12, 2012, an employee of the company was seriously injured after he went onto a roof to move a hoist, said a statement from Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. The worker’s leg was caught in the hoist as it was being lowered over the edge of the roof and the employee fell two storeys to the ground. The ministry said in a Feb. 4 release that Clark Roofing Regina Ltd. was fined after pleading guilty to failing to ensure that workers use a fall protection system where a worker may fall three metres or more and failing to ensure that all work was sufficiently and competently supervised. Supervisor Harold Vincent was also charged and pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that workers under his direction comply with oh&s regulations. He was fined $2,100.
OSHAWA, Ont. — General Motors of Canada was fined $160,000 on Jan. 22, after a worker was hospitalized with injuries sustained from a 2,000-pound lift table falling and crushing him. On Dec. 17, 2012, a worker at the Oshawa plant was showing a co-worker how to perform a task on an automatic guided vehicle (AGV) repair crib, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) noted in a press release. The worker provided the co-worker with the preliminary steps, which involved removing screws from a ball screw assembly, but was called away. The co-worker removed every screw except one. When the worker returned, he showed the second employee how to retract the ball screw while sitting on top of the frame of the AGV, with the lift table raised. The MOL said that there was no blocking material in place between the lift table and the AGV to prevent the table from accidentally falling. The table and a pallet, which were being used to hold a car frame, fell on top of the worker, causing broken bones. An MOL investigation determined that the lift table had collapsed due to the failure of the assembly’s remaining screw. Although the workers had used a safety bar mechanism designed to hold the weight of the table, it accidentally came out of place when the table was being raised. General Motors pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that equipment was securely blocked, as required by Section 74 of Ontario Regulation 851/90.
INNISFIL, Ont. — A company that operates a lining, coating and moulding facility in Innisfil, Ont. was fined $30,000 on Jan. 27, after a worker was observed working on top of a flatbed trailer without a safety harness or other fall protection equipment. A Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspector attended Jebco Industries Inc. on Feb. 13, 2013 for a follow-up inspection, the ministry said in a press release. The inspector noticed the load in a flatbed trailer was covered with a tarpaulin and secured, but there was a forklift on the passenger side of the truck. The forks were raised in the air and loaded with a platform, upon which stood the worker. The MOL release said that the worker had left the platform and climbed on top of the load, about 13 feet from the ground. The inspector saw the worker perch on the edge of the load, while trying to tarp it. Besides the lack of fall protection equipment, the inspector also noticed two workers standing under the load on the forklift, the release said. Nobody was injured in the incident.
The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador (WHSCC) has announced that it has revised oh&s training based on feedback from industry, training providers and safety associations.
The certification training program for Occupational Health and Safety Committees and Worker Health and Safety Representatives/Designates (WHSR/Ds) will come into effect on July 1. The new training program will be shorter, with a minimum of 14 hours, and has been condensed into one course for both oh&s committees and WHSR/Ds, the WHSCC reported in a statement on Feb. 2. The program content will also be updated to include a practical component, reflect new legislation, introduce case studies and use new training materials.
Once participants have completed this new program, they will be required to renew their certification every three years.
The WHSCC said in the statement that the training that many oh&s committee members have already completed will continue to be valid for a period of time. Through a phased-in approach, those who have already completed the existing training program have until June 30, 2018 to re-certify, and then must renew their certification every three years thereafter.
Tom Mahoney, executive director of worker services with the WHSCC, said that it is important to offer training to oh&s committees to make them aware of their responsibilities. Mahoney added that the number of oh&s committees in the province has more than tripled in the last decade, with over 3,800 committees as of the end of last year.
Oh&s committee training is now available province-wide from more than 95 training providers. Trainers are required to attend a curriculum orientation session in order to be ready to deliver the new program, with sessions beginning in March.
For more information on the revised training, visit www.whscc.nl.ca. To register for a session, contact the WHSCC at (709) 778-2926 or 1-800-563-9000.
WHITEHORSE, Yukon — The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) has fined Yukon Agriculture and a contractor, after a man died while capturing wild horses last year. On Jan. 26, 2014, Arnold Johnson was working with a Yukon livestock control officer to capture the horses near Kusawa Lake, about 60 kilometres west of Whitehorse, the YWCHSB said in a statement. The Department of Energy, Mines and Resources had hired contractor Dan Sabo to capture the horses. Sabo built a fence corral and baited the horses into it, but when the workers were connecting the metal panels to the fence, the horses bolted. The statement said that one horse had become tangled in a fence panel behind which Johnson was standing. Johnson was knocked to the ground and the horse rolled over him; he suffered a head injury and died in hospital the following day. After a 10-month investigation, the YWCHSB fined Yukon Agriculture $5,000 for failing to establish a complete oh&s program. Sabo was fined $750 for failing to properly assess the risks associated with the job and for not providing appropriate personal protective equipment.
AMHERSTVIEW, Ont. — Asbestos abatement company Recovery Abatement & Insulation Ltd. was fined $25,000 on Jan. 21, after workers were exposed to asbestos dust on a job site. In addition, supervisor Gregory Simpson was fined $4,000, after pleading guilty to failing to ensure that workers used protective clothing and equipment. On May 15, 2014, three workers were on the site of a single family home in Amherstview; the work was an enclosed asbestos abatement project. That afternoon, a Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspector attended the location to conduct an inspection, during which the inspector found one of the workers exiting the enclosed area of the project wearing street clothing. Another worker was securing bags filled with asbestos-containing material without protective gear, while a third worker, who was performing clean-up work, was unprotected. The company was fined for contravening Section 15.14 of Ontario Regulation 278/05, which states that only persons wearing protective clothing and equipment should enter a work area where there is an asbestos dust hazard. Simpson was fined after pleading guilty to failing, as a supervisor, to ensure that an employee worked in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures, as required by the regulation.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has said that it remains concerned about Transport Canada’s (TC) response to outstanding recommendations stemming from its investigation into the train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Que. in July 2013.
Kathy Fox, chair of the TSB, said in a statement that TC was still taking steps to address the rail safety deficiencies identified in the safety board’s investigation. “With respect to preventing runaway trains, TC has introduced multiple layers of defences that, if fully implemented, will significantly reduce risks,” Fox said. “But with respect to TC auditing and oversight activities, we are concerned that the department has not yet put in place an effective oversight regime that guarantees all railways will be audited in sufficient breadth and frequency to ensure safety issues are addressed in a timely manner.”
Regarding prevention of runaway trains (unattended equipment), the TSB investigation determined that more robust defences are required to prevent runaway trains. “Even if they have a low probability of occurrence, these events can have extreme consequences, particularly if they involve dangerous goods — as was seen in Lac-Mégantic,” the statement noted.
Last October, TC issued an Emergency Directive, which expires on April 29, to address weaknesses in the Canadian Rail Operating Rules pertaining to the securement of equipment. Along with a standardized hand brake chart and explicit instructions for hand brake effectiveness testing, additional securement measures must be used. TC has also said that it will hire additional specialized staff to strengthen oversight related to train securement. “If the proposed measures are fully implemented on a permanent basis, the risk of runaway equipment will be significantly reduced,” the statement said. “Therefore, the board assesses the response as having Satisfactory Intent.”
The TSB also recommended that TC audit safety management systems (SMS) of railways in sufficient depth and frequency to confirm that the required processes are effective and that it implement corrective actions to improve safety. The TSB said that while significant progress has been made, “TC has not yet demonstrated that it has implemented an effective oversight regime to ensure all railways will be adequately audited. Furthermore, TC has not committed to auditing every SMS component within a given time period. As a result, deficiencies within a railway’s SMS may not be identified and addressed in a timely manner; therefore, the board assesses the response as being Satisfactory in Part.”
“The Minister of Transport and the department have taken strong action to improve rail safety in the wake of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, but more work needs to be done,” Fox concluded in the statement. “We will continue to monitor the department and rail industry’s progress in implementing new regulations and procedures introduced by TC. Canadians deserve no less than the safest transportation system.”
At about 1:15 a.m. on July 6, the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train derailed near the centre of Lac-Mégantic, spilling about six million litres of petroleum crude oil. The ensuing blaze and explosions killed 47 people, destroyed much of the downtown core and forced about 2,000 people from their homes.
Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) has issued 11 compliance orders against a farm following a workplace fatality.
According to MOL spokesperson William Lin, the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) contacted the ministry at about 10:35 a.m. on Jan. 22 to report the fatality, which occurred at 262 Roland Road in Fonthill. “Police reported that a concrete block had fallen off a tractor and onto the worker,” Lin said, noting that the incident occurred at White Meadows Farms. “Emergency medical services attended the scene, and the worker was pronounced dead on the scene.”
Lin said that the MOL dispatched an inspector to the scene, as well as an engineer. On that same day, the ministry issued 11 orders related to protecting workers when moving concrete blocks, a procedure and plan to remove the concrete block involved in the incident, posting of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the workplace and preparing health and safety policies and training. “It is my understanding these orders currently remain in progress,” Lin said on Jan. 27.
Sgt. Rich Gadreau, social media officer with the NRPS, said that at about 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 22, local police officers, emergency medical services personnel and firefighters responded to the accident, which claimed the life of the 36-year-old worker. The NRPS continues to assist the MOL in investigating the accident, Sgt. Gadreau said, adding that the identity of the deceased man was not being released at the request of his family.
The company declined to comment on the incident, but released a statement on its Facebook page. “As a family farm, White Meadows Farms has deep connections with our customers and staff alike,” the statement read. “In this tragic event, we have felt the love of the people around us and thank everyone for their support. As the investigation is ongoing, we are giving the Ministry of Labour and the police our full cooperation.”
The Clark-Reliance Corporation announced on Jan. 19 the 2015 edition of its Boiler Inspection Guidelines for Drum Level Instrumentation. The easy-to-understand guidebook concisely presents water gage inspection requirements for handy, on-the-job reference by boiler operators, the company noted in a statement. It includes requirements for water columns, water gage valves, gage glass, remote level indicators, magnetic water level gages and water column isolation shutoff valves. The free book is available online at http://www.boilerinspectionguide.com/.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A Mississauga, Ont.-based company that specializes in the assembly of wheelchairs was fined $150,000 on Jan. 13, in connection with the death of a worker two years ago. On May 26, 2013, a crew of workers at Future Mobility Healthcare Inc. was assigned the task of emptying the contents of trailers, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) said in a release. A 3,500-pound machine was being moved with a forklift, while two workers were standing in a tractor trailer and attempting to guide and stabilize the machine. However, the distance between two forks was too wide, and the machine was lifted on just one fork, the MOL reported. As the forklift operator began to lift the machine, the load began to tip towards one side of the trailer. One worker was able to jump out of the way, but another worker was pinned against the side of the trailer after attempting to stop the machine from tipping. A ministry investigation found that the company had failed to ensure that materials were lifted or moved in a way that did not endanger the safety of a worker.