Canadian Stone Importer Fined After Two Injuries on Consecutive Days

Ciot Toronto Inc., an importer and distributor of stone, granite, and tile, pleaded guilty and was fined $80,000 after two workers were injured on consecutive days while moving stone slabs.

Ciot Toronto Inc., an importer and distributor of stone, granite, and tile, has pleaded guilty and been fined $80,000 after two workers were injured on consecutive days while moving stone slabs in a company warehouse, the Ontario Ministry of Labour announced.

The injuries occurred on March 11 and March 12, 2014. One involved a worker was assigned to remove bundles of stone slabs from a shipping container to place them in a Ciot warehouse. The slabs were stacked vertically in bundles and secured in place with wooden braces. "The usual procedure was for a worker to climb to the top of the bundles using a four-foot A-frame ladder, then cut the wooden braces with a reciprocating saw. While still on top of the bundle, the worker would then sling a 40-foot-long chain around the back of the bundle, climb backwards off the bundle and hook the chain to a forklift to pull the stone out of the container. On this occasion, the worker had the ladder in a folded position leaning against the bundle of stone. The worker climbed up the ladder and began transitioning to the top of the slabs while carrying the 40-foot chain in one hand. The base of the ladder slipped and the worker fell onto the top corner of the stone bundle. An ambulance was called when a co-worker noticed the worker looked unwell. The worker sustained a broken bone and cut. The company received a fine of $20,000 for the incident," according to the agency.

It reported the March 12 injured worker was a temp employee working at another warehouse who was helping a forklift operator - also a temp worker - move a number of large stone slabs. "The plan was to use the forklift and scissor clamp to lift and transport the slabs. Each slab was about 10 feet long and 4-1/2 feet wide and weighed about 700 pounds. The slabs were stored upright on metal A-frames and the workers were moving slabs from one A-frame to another to re-organize the warehouse. The forklift operator placed the boom and clamp over the slabs. The new worker was using a pry bar to make a space between the stored slabs to allow for the placement of the scissor clamp; the worker pried three slabs apart then walked to the middle of the slabs to release the hatch on the clamp of the boom, which allows the clamp to open and slide over the edge of the slabs. At that point the boom came down quickly and struck the slabs, causing them to fall on the worker in the middle of the slabs. That worker was taken to hospital and underwent surgery for internal injuries. The company received a $60,000 fine for that incident," the ministry reported.

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