Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

On Oct. 15, 2018, a worker employed by Welldone Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, a company that specializes in restoration work, fell from the roof of the building and was killed by the fall. The worker was not protected by a guardrail or travel restraint system as required by law.

The construction project consisted of the restoration of balconies on a 13-storey residential building. The restoration work was performed from a suspended swing stage. The repair work on two wings had been completed. The incident occurred during the set up for work to be performed on the third of four wings.

Two workers were on the rooftop at the time of the incident. They were not wearing any fall protection equipment and were not otherwise protected from the hazard of falling off the edge of the building.

The workers were marking measurements to indicate the new location for a beam to support the suspended swing stage. One worker was on hands and knees and held and watched the live end of the measuring tape. The other worker took the zero end of the measuring tape and walked away towards the end of the wing to mark the location of the beam.

The worker on hands and knees saw the measuring device continue beyond the expected distance and yelled for the co-worker to stop. At that point, the co-worker screamed while falling off the edge of the building. The co-worker was pronounced dead at the project by a regional coroner.

The defendant failed to ensure a worker was protected by a means of fall protection outlined is section 26.1(2) and thereby violated section 25(1)c of the OHSA.

Following a guilty plea, Welldone Inc. was fined $150,000 in provincial offences court in Hamilton by Justice of the Peace Patrice Valeriano; Crown Counsel Line Forestier.

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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Welldone Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 26.1(2) which states,

“If it is not practicable to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, a worker shall be adequately protected by the highest ranked method that is practicable from the following ranking of fall protection methods:

  1. A travel restraint system that meets the requirements,
  2. A fall restricting system that meets the requirements,
  3. A fall arrest system that meets the requirements, or
  4. A safety net that meets the requirements.”

Welldone Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

‘Working At Heights’ was created to protect workers from accidents just like this one. If the employer was trained in the legislation, then Welldone Inc. should not have been surprised at the size of the fine. Mind you, if they did not receive the training then they would have been in contravention of that as well.

Take your pick!

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Fall Protection’ and Working at Heights’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

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.

 

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