Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Elite Construction Inc. of Concord has pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after two workers suffered injuries while constructing the new Collins Bay maximum security facility.
On June 11, 2013, two temporary employees were assigned to move a cart loaded with sheets of 18-gauge steel standing on edge. At about 64 pounds (29.03 kg) per sheet, the load weighed about 2,050 pounds (929.85 kg) in total. The load was not secured to the cart.
As the cart was being moved, it was obstructed by the contact of the wheels with one of a number of electrical extension cords on the floor. A third worker came to assist the two workers with movement of the cart.
As the three workers were attempting to move the cart over the cord, the load shifted and the steel sheets fell onto the first two workers. Both suffered broken bones.
Two weeks before the incident, on May 29th, a Ministry of Labour inspector had issued an order to Elite to implement a plan to manage the electrical cords being used on the site, as many cords were on the floor at the time of the site visit, constituting a tripping hazard.
The company pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker as required under Section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The company was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Claudette Coulas in Kingston court on October 6, 2015.
In addition to the fine, the court 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 96-bed maximum security facility is a federal building operated by Correctional Service Canada and opened in January 2015.
Elite Construction Inc. was found guilty of a violation of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 section 37(1) which states,
“Material or equipment at a project shall be stored and moved in a manner that does not endanger a worker.”
Elite Construction Inc. was also found guilty of a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA) section 23(1)(a) which states,
“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.”
HRS Group Inc. is an approved provider the Ministry of Labour (MOL) for the ‘Working at Heights’ (WAH) program. Housekeeping is a real concern when dealing with WAH and is crucial with other parts of the workplace as evident here in this post.
I was also surprised to learn that Elite Construction Inc. already were ordered to get rid of the trip hazards from a previous work order and had not taken the order seriously.
$50,000 has certainly woke up the company and a good hazard assessment would go along way in preventing other types of workplace hazards.
HRS Group Inc. stands ready in aiding your company in completing hazard assessments for your workplace and can complete ‘Due Diligence’ training to further your company in its quest for an ideal safe workplace.
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.