Blog Post #457 – Bermingham Construction Ltd. and Supervisor Fined $69,000 after Worker Injured

Blog Post #457 – Bermingham Construction Ltd. and Supervisor Fined $69,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Bermingham Construction Ltd., a Hamilton construction company, was fined $65,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured. A supervisor at the company was fined $4,000 in relation to the same incident.

On January 7, 2010, at the company’s Hamilton facility, a worker was refueling a mobile crane. The worker had climbed onto the crane and opened the lid of its fuel tank when the lid fell on the worker’s hand. The worker was injured falling from the crane.

Bermingham Construction Ltd. was convicted, as an employer, of failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that the fuel tank lid was secured during fueling. The supervisor was convicted of failing to take the same precaution.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Vincent Formosi. In addition to the fines, 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:

Bermingham Construction Ltd. Was found guilty of a contravention section 25, sub-section 2(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

The supervisor was found guilty of a contravention of section 27, sub-section 2(c) of the OHSA which states,

“The supervisor shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

The two listed sections of the OHSA are exactly the same. I have found, through research, that approximately 15 % of all fines listed over the past 2.5 years have had section 25, sub-section 2(h) or, in a lesser capacity, section 27, sub-section 2(c). These are generic sections that are used when there are no specific sections to attach the fine to. Usually, there are updates to the ACT over the next few years. The new ‘Working at Heights’ legislation as well as changes to Basic Certification are just a few of the current examples that are ready for implementation.

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 Lifting and Rigging’ 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.

Dan
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