Worker injury results in $60K fine for truck body maker

Monday June 25, 2018
Written by Ontario Ministry of Labour
Jun. 25, 2018 - Following a guilty plea, Multivans, a company that manufactures truck bodies, was fined $60,000 after a worker suffered critical injuries while using an angle grinder.

On March 11, 2017, a worker was assembling a steel support frame for the bottom of a truck body in the company’s Bolton, Ont., facility. This involved cutting off two steel beams at an angle, using a grinder. This task is called "hot work" – that is, work that could produce a source of ignition, such as a spark or open flame. While cutting the steel beam, the worker felt burning. Sparks produced during the cutting had caught the worker's clothes on fire. The four shirts and arm protectors the worker was wearing were burned. The worker was hospitalized.

An Ontario Ministry of Labour inspector investigated the incident and determined Multivans had not provided the worker with the proper fire-resistant apparel to be worn while performing hot work. Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) provides that an employer shall ensure that the prescribed measures and procedures are complied with. Section 84 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation (Ontario Regulation 851) states that "a worker exposed to the hazard of injury from contact of the worker's skin with (a) a noxious gas, liquid, fume or dust; (b) a sharp or jagged object which may puncture, cut or abrade the worker's skin; (c) a hot object, hot liquid or molten metal; or (d) radiant heat, shall be protected by, (e) wearing apparel sufficient to protect the worker from injury; or (f) a shield, screen or similar barrier, appropriate in the circumstances."

As a result, the MOL found Multivans failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed section 84 of the regulation were complied with at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the OHSA. This is an offence pursuant to section 66(1) of the act.

 In addition to the fine, the court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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