Blog Post #496 – Teranorth Construction Engineering Limited Fined $115,000 after Worker Killed

Blog Post #496 – Teranorth Construction Engineering Limited Fined $115,000 after Worker Killed

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Teranorth Construction & Engineering Limited, a Sudbury constructor, was fined $115,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed.

On June 24, 2011, the company was constructing new eastbound and westbound bridge decks on Highway 11/17 at the Mackenzie River in the Municipality of Shuniah. Precast concrete bridge spans were already installed and workers were pouring liquid grout into the joints. A worker was on an elevated work platform beneath the bridge decks sealing leaks caused by liquid grout seeping through the concrete spans. The elevated work platform was on a sloped surface when it overturned, fatally injuring the worker.

Teranorth Construction & Engineering Limited pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the elevated work platform was used only on a firm, level surface.

The fine was imposed by Justice Dianne P. Baig. 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:

Teranorth Construction & Engineering Ltd. was found guilty of violating section 148, subsection (b) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“An elevating work platform,

(b) shall be used only on a firm level surface.”

Section 25, subsection 2 (a) of the OHSA was also violated and states,

“An employer shall,

(a) Provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

Here we find the gist of the whole entire issue. Teranorth Construction did not provide all the information needed for the EWP operator to work safely. He/she was also not properly supervised so the employer was twice at fault here.

HRS Group Inc. completes operator training for both scissor-lifts (self-propelled Elevating Work Platform) and boom-supported lifts. (self-propelled Boom-Supported Elevating Work Platform) The CSA standards demand that the operator be instructed, among many other things, in the understanding that working on a severe slope is highly dangerous and the manufacturer,to further that recommendation, has placed a slope angle alarm control that will start an alarm if the slope gets beyond a certain slope angle. The operator has to ensure that this alarm works prior to using the equipment. (Operational pre-check)

It is tragic, to say the least, that the workers are still not receiving enough information and supervision to complete the work safely.

In closing,

Review your company’s training needs through a needs analysis or hire a consultant to review these for you. HRS Group Inc. stands ready to support your firm with a ‘Training Needs Analysis’ whenever and wherever one is requested. We can also build the entire training course if that is also requested.

You can rely on HRS Group Inc. to help you in your occupational health and safety needs.

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’, ‘Elevating Work Platform Certification’ 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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