Ontario lumber company fined $75K after worker injury

Worker was unloading 22-foot beams by hand

Argo Lumber of Mississauga, Ont. has been fined $75,000, plus a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge. The fine is the result of an incident when a worker was critically injured while unloading large beams of lumber from a delivery truck.

On Sept. 29, 2015, a worker was delivering lumber to a residential address in Vaughan, Ont. including two 28-foot-long lumber beams. The bed of the delivery truck was 18 feet long; the 28-foot beams were loaded on top of the truck headboard at an angle on top of other pieces of lumber. Strapping was used to secure the beams to each other and to the bed of the truck. The two beams weighed approximately 245 pounds in total.                    

After arrival at the residence the worker climbed onto the truck bed, removed the strapping from the beams and attempted to push them off the side of the truck. While doing so, the worker lost balance and fell from the truck to the driveway below, a fall of approximately 7.5 feet. The two beams also fell.        

The worker sustained critical injuries from the fall.   

Investigation by the Ministry of Labour revealed that the worker had received some training on how to deliver lumber to residential sites and construction projects but had not been given adequate information or instruction on how to safely unload beams longer than 22 feet. Accordingly, the worker climbed on the truck and unloaded the beams by hand, an unsafe method of unloading. 

The company pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of a worker contrary to section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour