Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Aviance Forming Ltd., a formwork company, was fined $60,000 on September 24, 2009, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.
On January 4, 2008, the company was assembling, moving and installing wall forms for a condominium on York St in Toronto. Workers were guiding a wall form into place while it hung suspended from a crane. One of the workers tried to nail a piece of timber to the bottom of the wall form. As the hammer hit the nail, one of four A-frames attached to the wall form slid down through the bracket clip holding it in place. The worker fell and suffered a fractured ankle.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the frame that slid down was attached to the wall form by only one bracket clip instead of the required two.
Aviance Forming Ltd. pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing to ensure that material was moved in a manner that did not endanger a worker.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Odida Quamina. 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 law(s) in contravention:
Aviance Forming Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 37 which states,
“Material or equipment at a project shall be stored and moved in a manner that does not endanger a worker.”
This type of regulation is very ambiguous at best but I believe it was written for this very purpose.
There are many types of ways to move material at a construction site. The setup, the pouring of concrete and the removal of the forms can be seen on any construction site. It is incumbent on the employer to ensure that the process of the setup and removal of the forms is handled in the most safest of ways and that they do everything reasonable to protect their workers. Again, here we have an accident waiting to happen. Just because an accident has not happened yet does not mean that it will not! The employer has to be the expert in their field or pay the consequences for their lack of expertise.
I would wager that Aviance Forming Ltd. has improved their process, their materials, improved orientation and employee training to ensure that their workers are safer.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.