Canadian Occupational Safety

May/June 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

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Page 7 of 35

U P F R O N T F I N E S A N D P E N A L T I E S 8 VIXMAN CONSTRUCTION ON PROBATION AFTER WORKER FATALITY VIXMAN CONSTRUCTION has been put under an 18-month probation by a Toronto court and fined $125,000 for a fatal incident that occurred at Billy Bishop Airport — a regional airport situated on the Toronto Islands. One worker was killed in the incident. The Ontario-based construction company describes itself as a provider, designer and installer of steel deck and cladding. The charges stemmed from a March 27, 2018 incident when Vixman Construction was contracted to install corrugated steel sheeting to form a roof over several new walkways from the gates to the tarmac of the airport. Two workers were working close to each other and advancing along the walkway with their self-retracting lifelines (SRLs) in place. One worker anchored his SRL by choking a cable around an upright column supporting the roof structure while he was approximately 3.5 metres above the ground and extended his SRL approximately six metres from the anchored block across an open area. The SRL block was lying on the already installed roof sheeting. While working with this back to the SRL block, the worker's movement pulled the block over the edge of the installed sheeting, causing it to drop. Although the lifeline's mechanism engaged, it pulled the worker from the work surface and the worker hit the ground. The injuries he suffered eventually led to his death. The court found that Vixman Construction failed to ensure that the SRL had been attached to a fixed support and that the length of the extended lifeline over an open area was at a safe configuration of the fall protection equipment. It also found that the company failed as an employer in ensuring measures and procedures prescribed under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. 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. The verdict of the case was widely reported on, as probation in health and safety cases like this one are relatively rare. Vixman Construction must now meet a number of conditions to comply with the ruling, including: It must not commit the same or any similar offence; it must appear in court if required; it must notify the court if it changes address; it must report to a probation officer (either the company president or a designate); and it must produce a video within six months to be used in training on best practices in stopping falls. Lastly, Vixman Construction will have had to contact the editor of Infrastructure Health and Safety Association's Health and Safety Magazine within 30 days to acknowledge the offence in an article. Justice of the Peace Gregory John Fantino explained the probation in his ruling, saying that he felt "compelled to render a decision which deviates from the convention deterrence and fine paradigm." He further explained his decision by saying that "a human life should not be measured solely in terms of financial currency." Dollar Tree Stores fined $112K for multiple violations Dollar Tree Stores Canada has been fined $11,877 by WorkSafeBC. WorkSafeBC inspected the company's retail location in Fort St. John, B.C. and observed several safety deficiencies. The firm failed to ensure emergency exit routes were designed to provide quick and unimpeded exit and that material and equipment was securely stacked or stored in a secure manner. Furthermore, the firm failed to keep passageways and electrical equipment clear of obstructions, to allow authorized persons ready access to all parts requiring attention and refrain from using these spaces for storage. The firm also failed to provide adequate first aid attendants and services for responding to injured workers. "[I felt] compelled to render a decision which deviates from the convention deterrence and fine paradigm… [A] human life should not be measured solely in terms of financial currency." Gregory John Fantino, justice of the peace Town of Drayton Valley fined $325,000 for summer student death The Town of Drayton Valley, Alta. was fined $25,000 and ordered to pay $300,000 in favour of the Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association. On Aug. 3, 2017, a student was killed while cutting grass with a riding lawn mower. The lawn mower slid into a pond and flipped over, trapping the worker. The Town of Drayton Valley pleaded guilty to section 12(d) of Alberta's OHS Code, being an employer, failed to ensure that equipment, a John Deere riding lawnmower, was operated in accordance with the specifications of a professional engineer or with the manufacturer's specifications, which state: "Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches, embankments, or bodies of water." Louisiana-Pacific Canada fined $46,000 for worker injury Louisiana-Pacific Canada has been fined $42,500 plus an additional $3,500 payable to Manitoba's Workplace Safety and Health to educate the public on matters relating to workplace safety. On Aug. 22, 2016, a worker at the Minitonas, Man.-based company was assisting in the coupling and uncoupling of rail cars. When the rail cars came to a stop, the worker stood on the coupler assembly, which continued to retract and pinched the worker's feet, resulting in serious injuries. The company failed to provide information, instruction and training to the worker.

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