Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Roofing workers removed a skylight but did not install a guardrail system around the opening or place a protective covering over the opening as required by safety regulations. A worker fell through the skylight opening.
The accident happened on December 07, 2015. The company involved was Always Roofing Ltd., 97 Homesdale Road, York, Ontario, a company that engages in commercial, industrial and institutional roofing work throughout southern Ontario.
Always Roofing had been hired to replace the existing flat roof of the building. Always Roofing workers removed a skylight, thereby leaving an opening on the surface of the roof.
Following the removal of the skylight, the workers did not install a guardrail system around the opening nor did they place a protective covering over the opening.
An Always Roofing employee was applying glue near the skylight opening, walking backwards and lost balance before falling through the skylight opening.
The worker fell approximately 27 feet to the ground below, sustaining critical head injuries.
The Ministry of Labour investigated and concluded that Always Roofing Ltd. committed the offence of failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 26.3(2) of Ontario Regulation 213/91(Construction Projects Regulation) were carried out at a workplace. This was contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Following a guilty plea, the company was fined $55,000 by Justice of the Peace Alston A. Gunness in Mississauga court (950 Burnhamthorpe Road West, Courtroom M1); Crown Counsel Shantanu Roy.
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
Always Roofing was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ sector regulation 213/91, section 26.3(2) which states,
“One of the following precautions shall be used to prevent a worker from falling through an opening on a work surface:
- A guardrail system that meets the requirements of this section.
- A protective covering that,
- completely covers the opening,
- is securely fastened,
iii. is adequately identified as covering an opening,
- is made from material adequate to support all loads to which the covering may be subjected, and
- is capable of supporting a live load of at least 2.4 kilonewtons per square metre without exceeding the allowable unit stresses for the material used.”
This was contrary to section 25, subsection 1(c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
You see this time and time again. If a person was asked if roofers wore fall protection equipment ALL the TIME, the answer would be a resounding “NO”! In fact, the attitude of most people is that roofers would not wear any protection unless legislated to.
Too bad for the roofer and his injury. It did not need to happen.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs (including Working at Heights). Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.