Workers Health & Safety Centre

“Systemic” health and safety problems leads to conviction

“Systemic” health and safety problems leads to conviction
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) was recently fined $100,000 as a result of a material handling incident in a Brampton store resulting in a serious injury to a worker.
 
An employee was using a forklift to move a pallet stacked with LCBO product. As the forks were inserted into the pallet the employee heard a sound and got out of the forklift to investigate. At this time the boxes on the pallet fell on the employee resulting in a broken knee.
 
According to court documents, the employee health and safety representative during the year prior to the incident testified management was informed about concerns with the way pallets were stacked, including the fact boxes were not shrink-wrapped or tied properly and were unstable. These complaints were forwarded verbally and by email to the store manager. A second employee testified he too had concerns and voiced them to management (with no response). 
 
The court found there were “systemic” health and safety problems at this particular LCBO location, including failure of management to respond to worker concerns about the safety of the pallets. Also cited was the fact a worker was assigned forklift duties even though their training was “out of date”. The judge also noted the use of shrink-wrap around pallets for stability was a practice used temporarily prior to the incident but was not a practice at the time the worker was injured.  
 
The LCBO was found guilty for failing to ensure the pallet was lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards so as not to endanger the safety of any worker. This was a violation of section 45(a) of the Industrial Regulations (O. Reg. 851).
 
For our part, the Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) offers training for operators of powered lift trucks, including forklifts. The Forklift Operator training is designed to exceed standards outlined in the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Guideline for the Safe Operation and Maintenance of Powered Lift Trucks and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Safety Standard for Lift Trucks.
 
We also offer training programs to help supervisors gain the training and competency requirements required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
 
As Ontario’s legally designated training centre specializing in occupational health and safety, the WHSC offers programs to help workplaces comply with a host of obligations required by law. Our programs, however, have always been designed to go beyond just legal minimums and ensure real learning is achieved. With this, training participants will be better prepared to play a role in workplace prevention efforts.

To learn more:
Visit:    www.whsc.on.ca 
Email:  contactus@whsc.on.ca
Call:     1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a training services representative
 
Want to read the MOL press release about this conviction?