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6 Manitoba employers prosecuted for workplace incidents

| www.cos-mag.com

The government of Manitoba announced Tuesday it has prosecuted six workplaces for violations under the Workplace Safety and Health Act. The fines total more than $110,000 and include incidents around machine safeguarding, arc flash and asbestos.

On May 1, 2014, an Amsted Canada worker received serious burns to his upper body when a shovel he was using to remove excess slag from a ladle introduced moisture to the molten metal and created a steam explosion. On June 2, 2016, the employer pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to develop and implement safe work procedures for the removal of excess slag, and was ordered to pay $32,550 in fines and surcharges.

On Feb. 3, 2014, a worker for Gilbert Plains-based Plains Industrial Hemp Processing suffered serious injuries to his right arm while removing hemp from a jammed processing machine. On June 22, 2016, the employer pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to ensure the machine involved was equipped with a safeguard to prevent workers from coming into contact with moving parts, and was ordered to pay $20,000 in fines and surcharges.

On April 11, 2013, a worker for Brandon-based Glendale Industries Limited was seriously injured when sparks from a hand grinder he was using ignited sodium chlorate on his pants that he had been exposed to on a job site the previous day. On April 28, 2016, the employer pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to implement safe work procedures for installing a work platform above sodium chlorate dryers, and was ordered to pay a total of $15,000 in fines.

On May 2, 2014, a worker for Portage la Prairie-based V & R Electrical was seriously injured while removing electrical cable from a splitter box that was no longer in use. The task was performed “live” so as not to disrupt power to the facility. As the worker was removing a ground wire from the splitter box, it made contact with an energized lug nut, which caused an arc flash. The worker suffered burns to his face and neck. On June 27, 2016, the employer pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to create and train workers on safe work procedures for working with energized electrical equipment, and was ordered to pay $12,550 in fines and surcharges.

On June 6, 2013 an EcoLogic Spray Foam Insulation worker contacted Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade’s Workplace Safety and Health when he experienced difficulty breathing after removing some pre-existing insulation. An officer attended and immediately issued a stop work order. An analysis of the insulation determined that it contained asbestos. On July 14, 2016, the company pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to ensure that an asbestos control plan was developed to prevent asbestos-containing material from becoming airborne in the workplace and was ordered to pay $13,050 in fines and surcharges.

On July 15, 2013, a Dunsire Building Services worker was seriously injured when he fell from an 8-foot ladder while attempting to repair a strip mall sign. The worker was performing electrical work as a Level 4 electrician apprentice without being directly supervised by a certified journeyperson in the trade. On March 3, 2016, the employer pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to provide information, instruction, training and supervision in particular for an apprentice under section 4.1 of the Electrician's Act. The company was ordered to pay $18,000 in fines and surcharges.



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