Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Hardrock Forming Co. – Division of 5556347 Ontario Limited was found guilty and fined $50,000 on August 26, 2011, after being convicted of a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

On November 4, 2008, a Hardrock employee was working on a project at 220 Commerce Valley Drive West in Markham. The project involved a system of wooden moulds for concrete called formwork. The worker stepped on the formwork and fell through, suffering a wrist injury.

A Ministry of Labour inspector attended the project and found that the support and bracing for the formwork had been removed, but appropriate signs warning workers of the hazard had not been placed.

After a trial, Hardrock Forming Co. – Division of 5556347 Ontario Limited was fined for failing, as an employer, to ensure that signs were posted in prominent locations and in sufficient numbers to warn workers of a hazard on a project.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace A. A. Malik. 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Hardrock Forming Co. Was found guilty of a contravention of section 44 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

Subsection 1 – “Signs meeting the requirements of subsection (2) shall be posted in prominent locations and in sufficient numbers to warn workers of a hazard on a project.”

Subsection 2 – “a sign shall contain the word ‘DANGER’ written in legible letters that are at least 150 mm in height and shall state that entry by any authorized person to the area where the hazard exists is forbidden.”

Subsection 3 – “Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), a sign shall be posted,

a)     Adjacent to a hoisting area,

b)    Under a boatswain chair, a suspended scaffold or a suspended platform,

c)     At the outlet from a chute,

d)    At a means of access to a place where there may be a noxious gas, vapour, dust or fume, noxious substance or a lack of oxygen, and

e)     Where there is a potential hazard from an energized overhead electrical conductor at more than 750 volts.”

Subsection 4 – “No person shall enter an area in which a sign is posted other than a worker authorized to work in the area.”

Hardrock Forming Company was found guilty of a contravention of  section 25, subsection (1c) 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.”

I cannot believe in today’s workplace, this type of issue still occurs. The braces were removed and signs were not posted to ensure that the workers would be aware of the changes. Oh well, another accident, another fine. Most companies do not know their responsibilities under the ACT and the appropriate regulations. Too late for this worker.

By the way, the construction sector seems to have way more issues than the other three. (Industrial, Mining and Healthcare) Maybe the Ministry of Labour needs to rethink the inspector disposition and get more bodies to the construction sites.

Just a thought…

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Construction Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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