Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Facca Incorporated, an Essex County heavy construction contractor, was fined $60,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On May 30, 2011, Facca Incorporated was working on upgrades to the Amherstburg Pollution Control Plant. Workers from the company were preparing form-work to be hoisted away from a concrete wall. One of the workers climbed to the top of a form-work panel and tied off to it using a harness. While the worker was on the form-work it became detached from the wall. The worker fell backwards and the form-work fell onto the worker.

Facca Incorporated pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the form-work was adequately braced to prevent any movement that could affect its stability.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Hurst. 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:

Facca Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 31 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ sector regulation 213/91 which states,

“31. (1) Every part of a project, including a temporary structure,

(a) shall be designed and constructed to support or resist all loads and forces to which it is likely to be subjected without exceeding the allowable unit stress for each material used; and

(b) shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.

(2) If two structural steel columns or structural steel beams are connected to a common column or common beam,

(a) the connection shall be made using a clipped double connection; or

(b) the first column or beam shall be secured in a seated connection.

(3) No part of a project, including a temporary structure, shall be subjected to a load in excess of the load it is designed and constructed to bear.”

I believe it was section 31, subsection 1(b) that was found to be violated here. It was not fully described on the MOL website but, after reading the entire issue, I believe the appropriate section is 31, subsection 1(b).

I am trying to get at the fact that there are many sections of sector regulations as well as sections of the ACT itself, people are unfamiliar with. Please take the time to review the material and ensure that your people are competent to do the work.

That includes your supervisor!

If the reader does not remember the ‘Competency’ standards as described in the ACT, I have a reminder listed below.

A “competent person” means a person who,

(a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,

(b) is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and

(c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.”

Section 25, subsection 2(c) states,

“An employer shall,

(c) When appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.”

That means your supervisor better be a well-trained as the workforce he/she oversees. If not, as the employer, you are guilty of a violation of section 25, subsection 2(c).

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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