Supervisor and Company Both Fined Following Worker’s Injury
A Canadian drilling company and one of its supervisors have been fined by the Ontario Court of Justice in Kirkland Lake, ON, in relation to an incident that caused a worker to suffer serious cuts and broken bones.
On April 17, 2010, workers were attaching a drill bit to a casing at a worksite in the Township of Matachewan, ON. They were using a pipe wrench to hold the drill bit in place and engaged the drill so that its hydraulic power threaded the casing onto the drill bit.
As the casing was tightening onto the drill bit, the wrench slipped from its bracing block and swung around, striking and knocking down a worker.
An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation found that the company, Forage Orbit Garant Inc./Orbit Drilling Inc. had a policy forbidding the use of hydraul
ic power in combination with the use of a pipe wrench. However, its workers did not know about the policy.
Forage Orbit Garant Inc./Orbit Drilling Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to provide information and instruction to the workers on how to safely attach a drill bit to a casing, while supervisor Michael Menard pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a safe procedure was used by workers attaching a drill bit to a casing.
The drilling company was fined $100,000, plus a $25,000 victim fine surcharge, while Menard was fined $5,000, plus a $1,250 victim fine surcharge.