Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd., a Mississauga construction company, was fined $55,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On September 20, 2010, workers were building a waste processing facility in Guelph. They were stripping forms from a concrete wall that had finished curing. One worker climbed to the top of the wall to remove a form. The worker rigged that form to a crane and tied off to an adjacent form. As a second worker was prying the first form from the wall, the movement loosened the form the first worker was tied to. This form tipped over, bringing the worker with it. The worker suffered leg injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that workers normally leave one or two metal rods in forms before they are stripped off to brace them against falling. In this instance the last rod in the form that fell had been removed and then replaced before the worker tied off to the form.

Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the forms were moved in a way that would not endanger a worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Zeljana Radulovic. 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:

Maple Reinders Construction Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of section 37, subsection 1 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“Material or equipment at a project shall be stored and moved in a manner that does not endanger a worker.”

I read this to be a standard procedure to ignore the safety of the worker and speed up the process. It was inevitable that this type of accident was going to happen.

People become complacent and accidents happen. If every possible hazard has been recognized and controls are put into place to protect the workers, then can we say the employer has “done everything reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.” Until then, we will continue to see accidents similar to this one. There was no need to have this type of injury occur if proper precautions were taken.

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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