Govt issues workplace safety reminder after injuries lead to fines

Employers urged to ensure WHS training up to scratch

Govt issues workplace safety reminder after injuries lead to fines

Three employers from Ontario and Saskatchewan were fined after their workers were injured in separate workplace incidents, prompting the government to issue a reminder on workplace safety. The first incident was from an Ontario-based wire manufacturer that was handed a $110,000 fine after a workplace incident that resulted to an injury to one worker.

According to a court bulletin, the victim was attempting to do a quality check on a vertical wire drawing machine when the incident happened in June 2020. The said machine was located on an elevated platform accessible by stairs, and when the worker was going to up them, they lost their footing.

"When instinctively extending their arms to brace their fall, the worker's gloved hand came in contact with the moving wire, injuring the worker," narrated the bulletin.

Read more: Ontario ministry investigating death of maintenance worker

The Ontario Court of Justice found that the employer violated the section 25 of Industrial Regulation 851/90, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O., c.O.1, as amended. According to the court, the manufacturer failed to ensure that there was a guard or another device on the machine to prevent access to pinch points. Following a guilty plea, the court handed the company a $110,000 fine, as well as a 25% victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The government said this surcharge will be credited to a special provincial government fund that will assist victims of crime.

Read more: Firm fined $80K for employment law breach in death of teen worker

Sask employers fined for worker injuries

Meanwhile in Saskatchewan, two other employers were also fined by the court for separate workplace incidents which resulted in their workers sustaining injuries. The first case saw an employer fined $3,000, when an employee received serious injuries after slipping from a ladder and falling on the floor. 

According to the Weyburn Provincial Court, the employer violated clause 12(a) and clause 235(2)(b) of The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996. In addition to the fine, the employer was also handed a surcharge of $1,200 for each violation.

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In an unrelated incident, the Assiniboia Provincial Court fined another employer $10,000 for a workplace incident in Wood Mountain in 2019. According to the Saskatchewan bulletin, the worker "suffered serious injuries after making contact with an energised power line."

The court ruled that the employer violated clause 12(c) of The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996. In addition to the $10,000 fine, the employer was also handed a $4,000 surcharge.

Following the incidents, the government urged employers to ensure that their workplaces are secure and that employees are trained for their safety.

"Employers are required to provide safe and healthy workplaces, and must provide information, training, and supervision necessary for employees to perform their jobs safely," read the government announcement.

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