A big part of a supervisor's job involves advising workers about potential dangers and showing them how to avoid injuries and illnesses. An Ontario supervisor who stayed silent about such hazards is paying the price for doing so.
The supervisor at Cantar/Polyair Canada Ltd., a Toronto-based manufacturer of pool and protective packaging products, was fined $2,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice after pleading guilty to failing to advise a worker of any potential or actual danger.
Cantar/Polyair Canada Ltd. was fined $75,000 after pleading guilty to failing, as an employer, to provide written instructions regarding the operation of a machine, for the protection of a worker. Both the company and the supervisor were ordered to pay 25 percent victim fine surcharges. The money goes into a fund to assist crime victims.
A worker was operating an Alpha Marathon six-foot Cast Line Machine used to produce foil bubble wrap material in June 2004. While trying to get material to adhere to the corrugated core, the employee caught an arm in the machine and suffered bone fractures.
An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation revealed that employees at the plant had been having similar difficulties with getting the material to adhere to the core and had been using their hands and tools to put the material into the winder while the machine was operating. It was determined that the supervisor knew about the danger but did not intervene.
Bottom line: It's becoming increasingly common for supervisors to face significant fines if they don't stay on top of safety and a worker becomes injured. Don't let it happen to you.
Personal responsibility for the supervisors? Now there is an interesting idea!
Tom Peters, the author of "In Search of Excellence," as well as other management books, has documented that, when companies consider safety records as part of a manager's performance review, the number and severity of accidents drops precipitiously. Ironically, American industry had been moving in this direction when OSHA was invented- returning us to a focus on materials and practices- and resulted in a dramatic increase in injuries! :-(
When the focus is strictly on "production," everything else, including safety, will suffer.