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OHS Fines Scorecard for 2024 (Feb. 14 to March 15)

So far, there have been 22 significant OHS fines, i.e., fines of $20,000 or over, reported by Canadian provinces and territories, in 2024, with 11 of them occurring in the period between February 15 and March 15.

OHS Fines of $100,000 or More

There were only 4 fines in the 6 figures during the most recent reporting period, as opposed to 6 during the first 6 weeks of the year, a total of 10 so far. Ontario has generated the most 6-figure fines with 5, including one during the most recent period, followed closely by Alberta with 4. Alberta has also accounted for the 2 biggest OHS fines of the year and 3 of the top 5. New Brunswick is the only other jurisdiction that has reported an OHS fine of $100,000 in 2024.

Top 5 OHS Fines of 2024 (through March 15)

  1. $350,000 (Alberta)

  2. $295,000 (Alberta)

  3. $260,000 (Ontario)

  4. $200,000 (Ontario)

  5. $144,000 (Alberta)

Overall OHS Fines

Of the 11 significant OHS fines reported from mid-February to mid-March, 5 came from Ontario. Alberta and Saskatchewan accounted for 2 apiece, while BC and New Brunswick each reported one. Caveat: No jurisdiction issues more OHS penalties than BC which hands out literally dozens of administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) each month. But the vast majority of these AMPs are well below our $20,000 reporting threshold. The other tricky thing is that unlike most of the other jurisdictions which report individual fines soon after they’re imposed, BC updates its AMPs database on a cumulative basis at regular intervals. As a result, some of these fines get listed only after our reporting period for all of Canada has ended. Thus, for example, BC might report an AMP that was imposed on February 7 on March 31, too late for us to count it in the reporting period of mid-February to mid-March. Going forward, we will include any AMPs of $100,000 that were reported late in the subsequent reporting period. Accordingly, a fine that was imposed in February but reported in April will be included in the April count.

OHS Fines Reported from February 14 to March 15, 2024 (over $20,000)

Jurisdiction Fine Company What Happened Violation(s)
Alberta $295,000 Brooks Asphalt & Aggregate Ltd., a subsidiary of Smith Group Holdings Ltd Worker dies of asphyxiation while cleaning a gravel bin with a running conveyor. Failure to ensure a worker’s health and safety.
Ontario $200,000 Stelco Inc. Steel worker found dead apparently suffered fatal injuries while trying to repair a conveyor belt that had slipped off its pulley while the conveyor was still moving. Failure to ensure that there was a safe method to apply belt dressing while a conveyor was in motion.
Alberta $144,000 Marathon Underground Constructors Corp. Worker removes plywood board covering a floor opening and falls through the now uncovered opening resulting in serious injuries. Failure to ensure that a worker couldn’t remove a cover from an open hole in the ground without mechanical assistance.
New Brunswick $100,000 American Iron & Metal Company Inc. Iron worker killed by a calendar roll device used to finish or smooth sheets of metal, paper, textiles, rubber, plastics and other materials. Failure to properly notify the worker of the hazards posed by a calendar roll.
Ontario $75,000 Delta Elevator Company Limited Plant worker suffers serious injuries after falling from a staircase from which workers had removed the metal guardrail to clear room for equipment. Failure to ensure that guardrails required by the OHS regulations were installed.
Ontario $75,000 H&N Roofing & Sheet Metal Limited Worker falls 15 feet through an HVAC opening in a roof and suffers serious injuries. Failure to ensure that the worker: i. had appropriate fall protection; and ii. wore protective headwear.
Ontario $75,000 Coldstream Concrete Limited Forklift moving down a ramp collides with a front-end loader resulting in critical injuries to the forklift operator. Failure to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker at a workplace.
Saskatchewan $65,000 WSK Well Service Inc. Floor hand fractures ribs and punctures a lung as a result of being hit by a rod that the crew was attempting to attach to a drill. Failure to provide and maintain plant, systems of work and working environments that ensure workers’ health, safety and welfare, resulting in the serious injury of a worker.
British Columbia $63,055 Ucluelet Harbour Seafoods Ltd. WorkSafeBC inspectors discover multiple OHS violations at frozen seafood processing site. Failure to ensure that plant’s ammonia monitoring and alarm system were tested at least once a month and calibrated once a year; Failure to inspect compressed air cylinders.
Ontario $60,000 Crystal Fountains Inc. Worker injured while setting up a milling machine to manufacture fountain nozzles. Failure to ensure that the interlocks on the safety doors of the milling machine were maintained in good condition.
Saskatchewan $50,000 Holdstock Livestock Ltd. A charging bull knocks over a worker and causes serious injuries. Failure to provide and maintain plant, systems of work and working environments that ensure workers’ health, safety and welfare, resulting in the serious injury of a worker.

Source: Bongarde