Walinga Inc. Fined $20,000 For Failure to Report Injury
GUELPH, ON - Walinga Inc., a Guelph company that manufactures transportation equipment, portable pneumatic conveying systems and recycling trucks, has pleaded guilty to failing to follow notification procedures required under Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and fined $20,000.
On or about July 19, 2013, a worker at the company worksite located at 5656 Highway 6 North in Guelph was stacking parts onto a skid. A worker was walking away from the skid when the last part stacked caused the load on the skid to tip and fall toward the worker. The worker's lower leg became trapped under the parts.
Once freed, the worker left the scene, proceeding to a health care facility to have any injuries assessed. At the hospital, the injured worker was diagnosed with a fracture of the fibula, a bone in the lower leg. Under the OHSA, a fracture is defined as a critical injury.
At the hospital the injured worker was given a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board health professional's report, known as Form 8, which indicated that the worker could return to work with modified duties. The form did not state that the injured worker had a broken leg.
After the diagnosis, the injured worker reported to a night shift supervisor about sustaining a broken leg and gave a copy of the Form 8 to the night shift supervisor.
The next day, which was July 20th and the worker's scheduled day off, the injured worker telephoned the employer and advised a supervisor of the broken leg. Then on the worker's next scheduled work day, July 23rd, the worker attended a morning meeting with the company's human resources staff, where the worker again indicated that the injury was a broken leg.
Later that afternoon, the Ministry of Labour contacted the company to indicate that it had received information that a worker had broken a leg at the workplace four days earlier. Human resources staff, and the injured worker confirmed, that the company was in the process of reporting the matter to the ministry. The company indicated that it did not take any steps prior to July 23rd to confirm the nature of the injury and report it immediately to the ministry as required by section 51(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. As such, Walinga failed as an employer to immediately report a critical injury to the Ministry of Labour.
The company pleaded guilty and a fine of $20,000 was imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson.
In addition to the fine, the court 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.
Court Information at a Glance
Location: Provincial Offences Court
59 Carden Street
Judge: Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson
Date of Sentencing: January 31, 2014
Defendant: Walinga Inc.
5656 Highway 6
Matter: Occupational Health and Safety
Convictions: Occupational Health and Safety Act
Crown Counsel: Joe Ferraro