Last week, Process Group Inc. was hit with a fine of $110,000 for a violation of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), after an incident that occurred on October 27, 2010, when a worker was dismantling some equipment at a Windsor General Motors Transmission Plant, and was seriously injured while doing so.
The worker was attempting to decommission the piece of equipment for the company, which supplies engineering, construction and maintenance services to manufacturing plants. In order to gain access to the equipment that was being removed, it was necessary for several workers to remove sections of an overhead conveyor.
When the workers cut and began separating the conveyor section, they started by removing the anchor bolts on the conveyor’s base. When the last bolt was loosened, the conveyor section toppled and hit the worker, breaking several vertebrae in his back and also breaking a leg.
An inspection by the Ministry of Labour found that no blocking had been installed to prevent the collapse or movement of the conveyor section that was being dismantled.
At a trial held November 12, Process Group Inc. was found guilty of “failing as an employer to prevent the collapse or movement of part or all of a piece of equipment that is being dismantled, altered or repaired if its collapse or movement may endanger a worker.”
The sentencing took place on December 2, 2013. The fine of $110,000 was imposed by Ontario Court of Justice of the Peace Michael Hurst. The company was also issued the 25 percent victim surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act.
That means failing to train employees to take basic precautions when installing and removing equipment is costing Process Group, Inc.$137,500, not to mention the pain and suffering of the injured worker…. which is certainly a lot more than the cost of basic safety training.