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Thursday April 18, 2013
Written by Anthony Capkun
April 18, 2013 - Currently in development, CSA Z246.2 “Emergency Preparedness & Response for Petroleum & Natural Gas Industry Systems” provides requirements for developing a program enabling petroleum and natural gas industry operators to prepare for and respond to emergencies.
Monday April 15, 2013
Written by PEM Staff
CRS Specialties Inc., a Welland, Ont., manufacturer of rebar bending equipment, was fined $55,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a student—working there as a co-operative education placement—was injured. A further fine of $4,000 was imposed on a supervisor for a similar violation of the act during the investigation of the incident. On Mar. 23, 2011, at the company's Welland workplace, the student was taking apart a fan and washing it in a Varsol bath. When finished, the student was told to start a welding task. When beginning the task, the young worker was wearing a polyester-blend sweatshirt over overalls. Polyester materials are susceptible to ignition and should not be worn while welding. The student was not supplied with a welding jacket, welding sleeves, neck shroud or flame-retardant clothing. The supervisor did not intervene to make sure the student removed the sweatshirt and had sufficient apparel to prevent injury. While the student was welding, the sweatshirt ignited and caught fire. The student suffered second degree burns. Later, on Mar. 28, 2011, while the Ministry of Labour was investigating that incident, an inspector saw another worker in the same workplace not wearing apparel sufficient to prevent injury while welding. The worker was wearing a polyester-blend sweatshirt and only one welding sleeve. CRS Specialties Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a competent person was appointed as supervisor. Supervisor Chad Corriveau pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a worker was wearing apparel sufficient to protect the worker from injury while welding. The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace B. Phillips. In addition to the fine, the court 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.
Friday April 05, 2013
Written by PEM Staff
APCO Industries Co. Ltd., a Toronto-based manufacturer and distributor of oils, greases, rust preventatives and lubricants, was fined $100,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed. On Jan. 28, 2011, workers were repairing a leak in the roof of a storage warehouse at the company's Toronto workplace. The warehouse roof had six plastic dome covered skylights. A worker walking backwards tripped on the flashing of a skylight and fell through it about 5.5 metres (18 feet) to the concrete floor below. The worker's injuries were fatal. An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation found that there were no guardrails around the skylights while the workers were on the roof, nor did the skylights themselves constitute a protective covering over the opening in the roof. At no time during the repairs were the workers wearing or using any form of fall protection. APCO pleaded guilty for failing as an employer to ensure that a guardrail or protective covering was used to prevent workers from falling through the skylights. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace John R. Cottrell. In addition to the fine, the court 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.
Tuesday March 19, 2013
Written by PEM Staff
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) issued its decision on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) Darlington Nuclear Generating Station (DNGS) Refurbishment and Continued Operation Project, enabling OPG to move ahead with a number of activities. “OPG is very pleased with the CNSC’s decision,” said Wayne Robbins, OPG’s chief nuclear officer. “We were confident in our conclusions that Darlington Refurbishment and continued operation of the station will not result in any significant, adverse environmental effects, given the mitigation measures identified.” The Darlington project involves the refurbishment of the four reactors at the DNGS to enable the continued operations for about 25 to 30 more years. Refurbishment requires the replacement of a number of major components when the reactor is not operating. In addition, other components will be inspected, serviced and, if necessary, replaced. Following the refurbishment of each reactor, the units will be refuelled, tested and returned to full power operation. Ongoing operation after refurbishment will include routine scheduled maintenance activities and inspections. A refurbished Darlington station will provide 3,500 MW of electricity. OPG adds it will create employment, business and supplier opportunities, and increased municipal revenue.
Tuesday March 19, 2013
Written by PEM Staff
When it comes to safety, Canadians trust expert industry approval. According to a recent survey commissioned by the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB), 97 per cent of Canadians agree that construction work, including welding contractors and steel fabricators, should be overseen by a national organization and held to a common Canadian standard. CWB is the regulator of welding professionals and companies throughout Canada, and works to ensure that each project involving welding is completed and overseen by certified and accredited professionals. Craig Martin, vice-president of public safety at CWB, said, “Since founding CWB in 1947, Canadians have taken a position of leadership in the global welding industry and developed one of the first welding certification standards to ensure that the welding process provided consistent and high quality results. We are a standard Canadians should be proud of.” But there is a contradiction amongst survey recipients. When asked to rank importance of features when it comes to keeping Canadian buildings, bridges and other key infrastructure like pipelines safe, design comes out on top (39 per cent ranking it as important) while certified tradespeople comes out near the bottom (13 per cent ranking this as important). Quality of materials comes in second (26 per cent) and regular inspection third (21 per cent). “Most people assume that if a bridge or building is designed to meet the standards it is being built to those standards,” Martin continues. “Unfortunately that is not always the case. Industry needs to continue to enforce those standards from design through to building and maintenance.” When considering the safety of a product, nearly all Canadians feel that expert industry approval is important, and three in four (76 per cent) view it as very important. Almost half of us consider products made in Canada to be safer than those made elsewhere (44 per cent). “Welding is all around us, so being able to count on an industry standard should be important to all Canadians,” said Martin. CWB’s certification programs have expanded beyond the welding of steel to offer programs for aluminum welding, resistance welding, welding electrodes and welding inspectors, among others. In all cases, the programs are based on standards produced by the Canadian Standards Association. www.eng.CWBGroup.org
Monday March 11, 2013
Written by PEM Staff
Falls from heights are responsible for many deaths and injuries at work sites across Canada. In 2011, about 41 per cent of deaths and 60 per cent of critical injuries involved falls from heights at construction workplaces, according to Ontario Ministry of Labour statistics. Workers are at even greater risk of slipping and falling right now due to snow, ice and frost. These hazards are mainly at construction sites, rooftops, industrial yards, outdoor shipping areas, building grounds and other exterior locations. “Workers need to maintain what I call situational awareness,” says Jim LaFontaine, health and safety manager for Dufferin Construction. “This means knowing your surroundings and being diligent about your ‘housekeeping’ by keeping walkways and other areas clear of materials and debris,” LaFontaine says. In February and March, ministry inspectors are blitzing construction and industrial workplaces. They are checking for any hazards that could cause workers to slip, trip or fall, both outdoors and indoors. “Slips, trips and falls are major hazards for workers in the construction and industrial sectors,” says George Gritziotis, Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer. “Especially in construction, falls remain the number one cause of critical injuries and fatalities,” Gritziotis says. “We’re working to improve health and safety and to prevent injuries and deaths of workers in Ontario.” LaFontaine says construction and other sites need to be kept clear because a heavy snowfall overnight can bury debris and create tripping hazards. “You just have to be so sure where you put your foot down,” says LaFontaine, who is management co-chair of Ontario’s Labour-Management Health and Safety Committee. As well, friction is greatly reduced if workers walk on construction materials like steel and plywood or climb ladders that are covered in frost, snow or ice, he says. The tread on workers' footwear needs to be in good condition and anti-slip coverings may need to be worn. LaFointaine says workers also need to be alert to possible falling snow and ice from steel and other materials overhead. “De-icing is critical on scaffolding and bridges,” LaFointaine says. “Falling ice can be very dangerous.” Workers can fall from heights as well as on the same level such as on floors, the ground and other surfaces. “When we look at the history of injuries from falls in Ontario, it’s very rarely the most complicated things that cause an injury,” says Gordon Leffley, an industrial field consultant for Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. “It’s actually the simple things that cause injuries,” he says. “Sometimes we need a little reminder of the simple things we need to pay attention to in order to prevent those injuries.”
Friday February 15, 2013
Written by PEM Staff
A vegetable processing plant in Tecumseh, Ont., has been fined $65,000 after a worker was injured while cleaning a machine. On Sept. 20, 2010, a worker at the company's Tecumseh facility was cleaning a machine. Part of the machine consisted of a waste chute that contained a rotating vane to control the rate of debris falling onto a conveyor. The worker noticed debris in this part of the machine and reached a hand up through the bottom of the chute to clean the area. The machine was not equipped with a guard to prevent access to its pinch point, and the worker's arm was trapped. After a trial, on Dec. 18, 2012, Bonduelle Ontario was found guilty of failing to ensure that the machine was guarded to prevent access to its pinch point, for the safety of a worker. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Angela Renaud. In addition to the fine, the court 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.
Wednesday February 13, 2013
Written by PEM Staff
Fire-Lite Alarms by Honeywell has hired Alex McAllister for the position of regional sales manager to provide dealers and security equipment distributors throughout Ontario and Western Canada with training, technical data and other sales support resources. McAllister joins Fire-Lite Alarms with more than 20 years of work experience within the electronic security industry. Following similar managerial positions with security systems manufacturers Chubb and C & K Systems, he feels this new role is a natural progression. “I like the fact that the systems I’m supporting are an open platform and sold at multiple distributors across Canada,” he says. “Training and product application support are going to be two primary focuses for me to help our customers get the most out of Fire-Lite and its products.” www.firelite.com
Monday January 21, 2013
Written by PEM Staff
Ontario will conduct three heightened enforcement blitzes at workplaces across the province this winter. Inspectors from the Ministry of Labour will visit: • Underground mines to check on diesel emissions and other hazards that could affect air quality in January and February; • Industrial and construction workplaces to check for slips, trips and falls hazards in February and March; and • Health care workplaces to check on workplace violence and harassment in February and March. The blitzes will: • Raise awareness of health and safety in the workplace; • Prevent injuries and illnesses that could arise from unsafe work practices; and • Check that workplaces are complying with the law. During blitzes, inspectors will check on the condition and maintenance of safety equipment, worker training, the use of safety equipment and other potential health and safety hazards to help prevent workplace injuries. Protecting workers on the job is part of the McGuinty government's continued commitment to preventing workplace injuries through its Safe At Work Ontario strategy, while creating jobs. The blitzes are part of Ontario’s enforcement strategy to increase compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. This past fall blitzes also targeted supervision at construction sites, machine guarding hazards at industrial workplaces, infection prevention and control at health care workplaces and ore transfer in underground mines. Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 345,000 field visits, 47 inspection blitzes and issued more than 560,000 compliance orders in Ontario workplaces. www.labour.gov.on.ca
Monday January 14, 2013
Written by André Voshart
The condition and operation of tower cranes, mobile cranes and concrete pumping equipment continues to be a key concern in Ontario. The province’s Ministry of Labour has reported that a number of incidents involving cranes and concrete pumping equipment have resulted in death and serious injuries to workers in the past few years. Some of these incidents occurred when cranes overturned, contacted electrical conductors or when the cranes or the material being lifted struck or crushed workers when the load was dropped. Between July 1 and Aug. 31, 2012, ministry inspectors conducted a blitz of hazards involving tower cranes, mobile cranes and concrete pumping equipment. And while the inspections were limited to Ontario, the takeaways are relevant to anywhere across the country. Inspection blitzes are part of the province's Safe At Work Ontario compliance strategy. They are announced to the sector by the ministry in advance although individual workplaces are not notified in advance. The blitzes raise awareness of known workplace hazards and promote compliance with the OHSA and its regulations. During the blitz, inspectors focused on the following key priorities: • Safe access and fall prevention: Inspectors checked for the required presence and adequacy of access ladders and guardrails or other access equipment. They also checked for required fall arrest equipment to protect workers who could fall from tower cranes. • Proximity to overhead energized power lines: Inspectors checked if the crane operator maintained the minimum distance of approach from overhead energized power lines, if the voltage of such power lines was identified and if a procedure was in place to maintain the minimum distance of the crane or its load from the overhead power lines. • Tower crane maintenance and other records: Inspectors checked for records at the construction site on the condition of tower cranes, before and after erection, including a professional engineer's design drawings for tower crane installation. Inspectors checked that tower cranes were properly inspected prior to first use, and regularly inspected and maintained afterwards. Inspectors also reviewed logbook entries to ensure operational functions (such as limit and overload limit switches) were properly tested. • Mobile crane maintenance and other records: Inspectors checked for records such as the crane operator log book and operator manual. Inspectors checked that cranes were inspected and maintained as required. • Training: Inspectors checked that mobile crane operators were certified to operate a crane at a construction site or were being instructed in crane operation and accompanied by a person who had the required certification. • Various other issues: Inspectors checked on the structural, mechanical and foundational integrity of cranes, safety systems, setup, proximity to people and safe hoisting practices. The inspectors visited many types of workplaces, including sewer and water main construction and repair; commercial building construction; asphalt paving and roadwork on existing streets; hydro utility installation, underground and above ground; underground tunnel construction; cable installation involving various types of telephone, electrical and fibre optics; and hydroelectric and nuclear power plants construction activity. Inspectors issued orders at a rate of 2.53 per workplace visit. During this blitz, inspectors visited 527 construction projects and issued 1,481 orders, including 149 stop work orders. The total number of visits was 608 because some of the workplaces were visited several times. Orders were issued for various violations of the OHSA and the Regulations for Construction Projects. In general, the blitz results indicate hazards involving failure to use personal protective equipment continue to be a at concern on construction projects. Maintenance of vehicles, tools and equipment also represents a major health and safety concern. Crane-related issues (such as use of outriggers, rigging methods and equipment records) represent areas where continued vigilance is also required. There is a need for a better understanding of the regulatory requirements for constructors and employers on construction projects, such as ensuring that the necessary controls for occupational health and safety are developed and implemented at construction projects. Employers should focus on raising workplace parties' awareness of key health and safety hazards involving traffic on construction sites and during roadwork projects and thereby promoting improved health and safety for workers on construction sites with traffic and road work projects. A health and safety culture requires all workplace parties to be vigilant and to give appropriate attention to workplace health and safety. In other words, the workplace must have a well- functioning internal responsibility system in which all workplace parties take responsibility for their own health and safety and that of their co-workers. A strong commitment by everyone in the workplace is needed to prevent injuries and illness and to reduce risk. Workplace parties are encouraged to work together to identify and control crane-related hazards found on construction projects. Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 266,000 field visits, 40 inspection blitzes and issued more than 426,000 compliance orders in Ontario workplaces.