Law of the Year
On Feb. 1, an amendment to Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Regulation took effect that expands the term “harassment” to include psychological harassment, such as bullying, intimidation and humiliation. Employers must modify their existing harassment policies and procedures to reflect this expanded definition and retrain workers and supervisors accordingly.
Other Notable Regulatory Changes
In Aug., new violence requirements in the OHS regulation took effect, which require all companies to assess the risk of violence to workers on the job and develop and implement a violence prevention policy if the assessment identifies a risk. But regardless of the results of a risk assessment, workplaces that provide certain services, such as healthcare, education, crisis counselling and retail sales, must develop and follow a violence prevention policy.
In Dec. 2010, the government proposed amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act that would expand presumptive coverage for firefighters for four new cancers: multiple myeloma, primary site prostate, skin and breast cancer.
Case of the Year
Employer Fined $75,000 for Worker’s Fatal Head Crushing
A worker was killed when his head was crushed between the pavement and the frame of the fork lift truck that he was servicing. His employer was fined $75,000 for failing to provide the worker with tire chocks [Toromont Industries Ltd., Dec 16, 2010].
Other Notable Cases
Health Agency Fined $65,000 for Worker’s Entanglement in Washing Machine
A worker at a health agency’s laundry facility reached into an industrial washing machine and was pinned between the hopper and the metal door opening as the washer continued its programmed cycle. He suffered soft tissue injuries to the side of his head and his left forearm. The health agency pleaded guilty to failing to provide an optional metal hopper attachment to prevent a worker from coming into contact with moving parts. It was fined $65,000 [Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Jan. 13, 2011].
$36,100 Fine Imposed for Pinkie Amputation
A worker’s right pinkie finger was amputated below the second knuckle by a metal cutting shear blade. His employer was fined $36,100 for failing to ensure that the worker used safe work procedures while operating a metal shear and for failing to immediately report a serious incident [6539963 Canada Ltd., Dec. 9, 2010].
Company Owner Fined $33,500 in Death of 15-year-old Worker
The owner of a paving company pleaded guilty to several OHS violations for the death of a 15-year-old worker who was buried in burning asphalt. He also pleaded guilty to violating the Employment Standards Code for employing a worker under age 16 at a construction site without a special permit. The court fined him $33,500 [Nov. 30, 2010].
Company Fined $30,000 for Worker’s Death in a Load of Asphalt
A worker was killed when he fell into a load of asphalt in a trailer and came out through the tailgate along with the asphalt. The company was fined $30,000 for failing to ensure the safety, health and welfare of a worker by allowing him to be in close proximity to a load of asphalt [Gerard Shepell, Govt. News Release, Nov. 18, 2010].