Forestry Worker's Death Results in $80,000 Fine for Logging Company
Convicted: D & G Logging Ltd., 168 Government Road, Kapuskasing, Ontario, a small logging company near Manitouwadge, Ontario
Location of Worksite: Near Long Pond Road in the Big Pic Forest north of Wawa and Lake Superior.
Description of Offence: A worker was killed when the boom of a tree de-limbing machine released.
Date of Offence: January 15, 2018.
Date of Conviction: July 29, 2019.
- Following a guilty plea, D & G Logging Ltd. was fined $80,000 by Justice of the Peace Zelda N. Kitchekeesik in provincial offences court in Thunder Bay; Crown Counsel Joe Ferraro.
- 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.
- On the day of the incident, a worker employed by D & G Logging Ltd. was at work in the Big Pic Forest. The worker was working on a Quadco de-limber machine (used to remove branches from trees).
- The worker was attempting to repair a leak on the hydraulic cylinder on the boom of the de-limber machine which was mounted on a CAT excavator.
- While removing the hydraulic line from the cylinder, the boom of the machine was suspended but was not blocked to prevent it from movement.
- The worker was positioned over the base of the machine and under the boom. This positioning was being used to reach the hydraulic hose from the back of the cylinder.
- While removing the hose from the cylinder, the pressure holding the boom in an elevated position quickly released, causing the boom to drop and crush the worker between the boom and the cab of the machine. The worker died as a result of the injuries.
- The boom was not blocked or otherwise immobilized to prevent it from moving once the machine had been taken out of service.
- D & G Logging Ltd. committed the offence of failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 75 of Ontario Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation), contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.