Ontario company fined $70,000
Ontario Inc. – operating as Truly Green – has been fined $70,000 after pleading guilty to violations that led to a critical injury on a worker.
The Provincial Offences Court in Blenheim also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, to be credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
On the day of the incident, a worker was asked to clean the irrigation room in the company’s greenhouse in Chatham.
The room contains four plastic tanks, each approximately eight and a half feet high, with a capacity of 2,500 gallons. At the top of and between two of the tanks is a rotating shaft powered by an electric motor and gear box.
The shaft is connected to a set of paddles inside the tank, which act as agitators. When the shaft rotates, the paddles stir the contents of the tanks.
On the date of the incident, the power to the shaft was not locked out, and the shaft was rotating while cleaning was being done.
While kneeling and leaning over the tank rails to clean the tank, the worker fell inside the shaft and sustained critical injuries.
“The worker had not previously worked in the irrigation room and was not provided with written instructions for the cleaning of the tanks. No specific procedures were in place or communicated to workers for this task,” according to the Ontario government.
Section 25(2(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act states: “An employer shall provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker at a workplace.”
The government said that Ontario Inc. failed to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker, an offence contrary to section 66 (1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Previously, Ontario employer Accuristix, Inc. was fined $70,000 after pleading guilty to a violation that led to a critical injury to one worker. The employee drove toward another worker on a stationary rider forklift to hand him an electronic scanner. However, the second worker suffered a critical injury when stepping off the rider forklift.
Also, British Columbia employer Precision Diversified Oilfield Services Corp. was ordered to pay $206,892.98 after one of its workers was injured in the workplace.