MoL investigates after Toronto worker drawn into machine
July 19, 2005 -- Toronto (Canadian OH&S News) -- A Toronto workplace where a fatal accident occurred has had to comply with an order requiring that a worker be designated to inspect the location of the accident.
The Ministry of Labour's guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) says that, if a worker is killed or critically injured on the job, the members of the committee who represent workers must choose one or more of their group to conduct an investigation. This investigation can be part of, or in addition to, an investigation conducted by the employer or the Ministry of Labour (MoL). The findings must be reported to the committee and to a director of the MoL.
On June 22, a worker who was approximately 30 years old died after getting caught in a bailer press that compacts clothing, the Toronto Police Service says.
The worker was an employee of Riotextiles Exporters Ltd, a company that collects used clothing, puts them into bails and exports them to Third World countries, MoL spokeswoman Belinda Sutton says.
Company ordered to produce investigation report Eight orders issued against the employer relate to guarding on each of the four bailer machines, and for all work to be stopped on them. The company was also required to provide an accident report.
The order relating to inspection of the accident site relates to section 9(31) of the OHSA. It requires the employer to ensure that the worker members of the joint health and safety committee designate a member to inspect the place where the accident occurred and report on the findings.
Section 9(31) says: "The members of a committee who represent workers shall designate one or more such members to investigate cases where a worker is killed or critically injured at a workplace from any cause and one of those members may...inspect the place where the accident occurred and any machine, device or thing, and shall report his or her findings to a Director and to the committee."
A spokesperson with Riotextiles Exporters could not be reached for comment.
All orders were complied with on June 30, and the stop work orders were lifted on that date. The MoL is continuing to investigate.
I find it interesting that employees are expected to 'investigate' and 'report.'
Too often, poor management is one of the causes of accidents. Lack of training, failure to provide or maintain equipment, etc often play a role.
Yet, the employee who even hints at having an opinion about anything- even the weather- is considered a "troublemaker." Not good for your career, I'd say.
The result of this is predictable....I have seen "accident investigations" that had almost nothing to say about the accident, but went on for pages, using only innuendo and vague assertions, to "proove" the injured person just wasn't a nice guy!