Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Chad Shostal, a Thunder Bay construction supervisor, was fined $10,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On July 12, 2011, Mr. Shostal, who was working for an independent contractor, was supervising workers shingling the roof of a home in Thunder Bay. One of the workers fell off the roof and sustained serious injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the worker had not been wearing fall protection

Chad Shostal was found guilty, as a supervisor, of failing to ensure his workers wore fall protection.

The constructor and the employer both previously pled guilty to charges related to this incident.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Joseph Caron. 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:

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

“ If it is not reasonably possible to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, a worker shall be adequately protected by at least one of the following methods of fall protection:

1. A travel restraint system that meets the requirements,
2. A fall restricting system that meets the requirements,
3. A fall arrest system, other than a fall restricting system designed for use in wood pole climbing, that meets the requirements,
4. A safety net that meets the requirements.”

Fall Protection. I asked the question at most of the health and safety classes I run, “How often do you see roofers NOT tied off?” The answer usually comes back, “hardly ever”. I agree with that answer.

During a recent trip through the Peterborough area I noticed construction crews not tied off and an Iron Worker straddling a long roof support, somewhere in the middle, with no tie off, in fact, he was attached only because his legs were wrapped around the beam. I instantly called the MOL, local group, and had them head out there immediately to review the situation. I passed the site an hour later and the site was officially shut down. GOOD FOR THEM!!!

I cannot express enough the concerns that iron workers and roofers have about wearing safety equipment. “It gets in the way,” or “it becomes a trip hazard,” or some other excuse. Excuses are meaningless when the accident occurs. Someone is to blame and the MOL will figure it out for you.

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 ‘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

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

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