Worker's Permanent Injury Results in $75,000 Fine for London-Area Company
Convicted: Coldstream Concrete Ltd., a company that manufactures precast concrete products for the construction industry.
Location: Coldstream's plant facility at 402 Quaker Lane, Ilderton, Ontario.
Description of Offence: A worker suffered a permanent injury when a concrete culvert fell from a lifted position.
Date of Offence: August 2, 2017.
Date of Conviction: October 25, 2018.
- Following a guilty plea, the company was fined $75,000 in London court by Justice of the Peace Thomas Stinson; Crown Counsel Judy L. Chan.
- 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.
- Two workers were working in the business's heavy precast yard, moving three-sided concrete culverts from the bed of a trailer on to the ground using a gantry straddle crane and spreader beam.
- The crane had recently been inspected and found to be in good working order.
- One worker operated the crane from the cab, and the other was on the ground, rigging the culverts to the crane.
- The crane operator moved a 23,000-kilogram culvert from the trailer and set it down on the ground. The worker on the ground needed the culvert raised again in order to remove a metal date plate attached to the bottom of the culvert. The operator raised the culvert about five feet and, while it was suspended, the worker on the ground reached underneath and started to chisel the date plate away.
- While doing so, the worker heard a cracking noise and was knocked to the ground by the culvert.
- The worker knocked to the ground suffered a permanent injury as a result.
- Later examination of the crane showed it had suffered an unexpected and catastrophic failure.
- In particular, the examination determined that a pin in the roller chain link connecting the crane's hoist transmission drive socket to the hoist drum socket assembly had failed. This caused the hoist drum to rotate freely and the part of the culvert which had been supported by one end of the crane to fall to the ground.
- 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 74 of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments prescribes that "machinery, equipment or material that is temporarily elevated and under which a worker may pass or work shall be securely and solidly blocked to prevent the machinery, equipment or material from falling or moving."
- Coldstream failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 74 of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments were complied with at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the OHSA.