Identifying, assessing and controlling hazards are important
elements for successful mitigation of existing and potential risks.
Hazards can be identified through an array of methods. These
include, but are not limited to, job hazard analysis, risk
assessments, workplace inspections, etc. Once a hazard is
identified it must be assessed and then the appropriate control
measure(s) implemented. Controls will depend on the risk score
(e.g., consideration of probability versus the severity) determined
during the assessment phase. Based on these risk scores, reasonable
steps must be taken to eliminate the risk, where possible, or
reduce the risks using one or a combination of control measures
(e.g., engineering controls, administrative controls, personal
protective equipment, etc).
Recently, a Toronto producer of frozen and prepared foods was
fined $200,000 for two violations of the Occupational Health
and Safety Act after workers were injured in two separate
incidents occurring in July and December 2010. In the first
incident, a worker at the company's Kitchener factory was
operating a machine that folds and glues cardboard into boxes. When
the machine jammed, the worker opened its gate and reached in to
remove the jam. However, once the jam was cleared, the machine
activated and crushed the worker's arm. The company was fined
$100,000, as the machine's moving parts had not been stopped
and blocked prior to the worker removing the jam, as per section 75
of the Ontario Regulation 851.
In the second incident, at the Kitchener factory, a worker was
checking a machine to ensure its sanitary standards were being met
before the work began for the day. The worker saw a piece of
plastic wrap stuck in the machine's conveyor system. The worker
reached to remove the plastic wrap and the conveyor activated when
the debris was dislodged. The worker's glove was caught in the
conveyor and consequently, the worker's hand was pulled into
the equipment. The company was fined $100,000 for failing to ensure
the worker was provided information, instruction and supervision on
the safe procedures for cleaning and locking out the machine as
defined in section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and
These incidents show that the identification of hazards is
critical for the protection of the workplace. A reminder, in
sections 25(2)(h) and 27(2)(c) of the Occupational Health and
Safety Act of Ontario, employers and supervisors are required
to 'take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for
the protection of a worker.' Confirm if your workplace has
identified, assessed and controlled hazards for the following:
All tasks, both routine and non-routine
Full time, part-time, and temporary workers
Unplanned events (e.g., potential emergencies)
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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