Manitoba reminds employers to ensure workplace safety

Province also advised leaders to immediately report workplace accidents

Manitoba reminds employers to ensure workplace safety

The province of Manitoba on Thursday reminded businesses to ensure the safety of their workers after three employers and a supervisor in the province had been prosecuted in separate cases due to workplace safety violations, with fines amounting to over $61,000.

One of the employers fined is an agricultural service corporation, after one of its employees was struck with a bucket attachment of a 12-tonne excavator in October 2019.

The victim suffered a spinal fracture due to the incident, while officials from the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) found in its probe that the employer was not able to ensure that workers were wearing personal protective equipment.

The WSH laid charges against the company under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, with the employer pleading guilty in February 2022 for failing to develop and implement the use of personal protective equipment in the workplace.

The court imposed a $6,500 fine, with an additional $1,500 penalty paid to the WSH for the purpose of educating the public about occupational injury and illness prevention.

Construction firm

In another incident, a construction firm was also charged by WSH officials and later fined by court after not immediately informing the agency that one of its workers at work fell on a roof when they lost their footing.

The victim, in September 2019, fell approximately six metres to the ground, hitting a telehandler and fracturing their spine. The employer did not immediately inform the WHS of the incident, according to the Manitoba government. 

A probe was later carried out, however, and the construction company pleaded guilty in February 2022 to two charges under the Workplace Safety and Health Act. This includes its failure to ensure that appropriate fall protection system was implemented, where the company was fined $19,000 for; and failing to immediately notify the WSH of the serious incident, where it was also fined with $2,500.

Read more: Manitoba revamps wage subsidy program to boost recovery

Machine shop

On the third reported incident, a machine shop was also fined by court after one of its workers had one of their fingers amputated resulting from a machine incident in August 2019.

The victim at the time of the incident was working with an Accurpress brake machine when it suddenly activated and the worker's fingers were caught between the die plates. One of their fingers was amputated as a result, while two other fingers were left with crushed injuries.

The incident was eventually probed by WHS officials, who charged the company under the Workplace Safety and Health Act for failing to implement safe work procedures for a machine in the workplace.

The company pleaded guilty to the charge early this month and was slapped with a $30,000 fine that will be used to educate the public about occupational health and safety topics.

Supervisor fined

Meanwhile, in a fourth incident bared by the Manitoba government, WSH officials charged a supervisor following a workplace accident involving an employee in August 2019.

The worker was instructed to repair a commercial overhead door weighing approximately 300 pounds that was jammed in the up position. Once one of the workers severed the door cables, the door fell and stuck another, who was pinned to the ground and sustained multiple fractures. He was eventually released by emergency services.

Following the incident, WSH officials charged the supervisor under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, who in March 2022 pleaded guilty for failing to take the necessary measures to protect the worker while under their supervision.

The court fined the supervisor with $,1550, which already includes the costs and surcharges.

Manitoba intervention

The Manitoba government narrated the four workplace incidents on Thursday in a statement issued to the public, which came with a reminder to employers to ensure safe workplaces for their employees.

The government, through the Manitoba Labour, Consumer Protection and Government Services, also told employers and supervisors to not forget to report serious incidents to the WSH.

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