Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
During the work day of September 25, 2016, workers on a job site were observed not wearing fall protection (such as harnesses or hard hats) as required by Ontario Regulation 213/91, the Construction Projects Regulation.
Responding to a complaint about unsafe roofing activity, a Ministry of Labour health and safety inspector attended at a residence in North York. The inspector noted contraventions and issued orders for the corporation to comply with safety regulations.
Despite multiple attempts to contact the corporation and its director to ensure continuing compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the orders issued under its authority, the company and its director ignored the Ministry of Labour inspector, which had the effect of obstructing the performance of an inspector under the OHSA (which itself constitutes a contravention of the law).
The company and its director have been previously convicted of violating the OHSA, in Burlington (March 2017) and in Brampton (September 2015). The violations were similar to the current convictions: failure to ensure workers used protective apparel/fall protection, and obstructing an inspector in the performance of duties.
As in previous incidents, workers fled when they saw the inspector approaching. Attempts to contact the company and its director were ignored.
Sunny Roofing was fined a total of $56,000 for six different contraventions of the OHSA and Ontario Regulation 213/91. (November 22, 2017)
Dong Mo was sentenced to 20 days in jail for failing to take all reasonable care to ensure the company complied with the OHSA and its regulations, and the orders and requirements of an inspector.
The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
The law(s) in contravention,
Sunny Roofing and its Director, Dong Mo, were found guilty of a contravention, in my opinion, of section 62, subsections 1 and 2 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA) which states,
- “No person shall hinder, obstruct, molest or interfere with or attempt to hinder, obstruct, molest or interfere with an inspector in the exercise of a power or the performance of a duty under this Act or the regulations or in the execution of a warrant issued under this Act or the Provincial Offences Actwith respect to a matter under this Act or the regulations.”
- “Every person shall furnish all necessary means in the person’s power to facilitate any entry, search, inspection, investigation, examination, testing or inquiry by an inspector.”
I also believe they were in contravention of a section of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91.
Section 21 states,
- (1) “A worker shall wear such protective clothing and use such personal protective equipment or devices as are necessary to protect the worker against the hazards to which the worker may be exposed.”
2) “A worker’s employer shall require the worker to comply with subsection (1).
(3) A worker required to wear protective clothing or use personal protective equipment or devices shall be adequately instructed and trained in the care and use of the clothing, equipment or device before wearing or using it.”
Since this is a direct violation of the OHSA and sector regulations, then section 23 of the OHSA was also contravened.
Section 23 of the OHSA states,
23 (1) “A constructor shall ensure, on a project undertaken by the constructor that,
(a) the measures and procedures prescribed by this Act and the regulations are carried out on the project;
(b) every employer and every worker performing work on the project complies with this Act and the regulations; and
(c) the health and safety of workers on the project is protected.”
It seems the company has received the memo but has decided to ignore it. (Not once but three times)
I wonder where the courts go from here if Sunny Roofing continually gets away with this. Obviously, the Director does not seem afraid of the Ministry of Labour. (MOL) Well, for our sakes, they should be.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
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‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.