Blog Post #298 – Able Concrete and Supervisor Fined $110,000 Total after Worker Killed

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

2026380 Ontario Limited, carrying on business as Able Concrete, a Kitchener construction company, was fined $95,000 yesterday for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused a worker’s death. Bryan Cher, a supervisor with the company, was fined a total $15,000 in relation to the same incident.

On June 1, 2009, Able Concrete was doing concrete formwork at the Lakeview Water Treatment Plant in Mississauga. A foreman at the site directed a worker to put a formwork panel into place. The worker used a crane to move the panel to where it needed to be. As the panel was being set down, it shifted and came free of its rigging to the crane. The 700 kilogram panel fell onto the foreman, who died.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the panel could have been rigged to the crane in a more stable fashion.

Ministry of Labour inspectors also determined that Bryan Cher, a supervisor at the site, had disturbed the scene of the incident before the police arrived to investigate.

2026380 Ontario Limited, carrying on business as Able Concrete, pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure the formwork panel was stored and moved in a manner that did not endanger a worker. Bryan Cher pleaded guilty, as a supervisor, to the same offense. He was fined $6,000.

Mr. Cher was fined an additional $9,000 after pleading guilty to disturbing the scene of a workplace incident before being given permission by an inspector.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Gerry Manno. 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:

Able Concrete was found guilty of violating section 37 (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.”

Mr. Bryan Cher was found guilty of the same offense.

Mr. Bryan Cher was also found guilty of violating section 51 (2) of the OHSA which states,

“Where a person is killed or critically injured at a workplace, no person shall, except for the purpose of,

a) Saving a life or relieving human suffering
b) Maintaining an essential public utility service or a public transportation system
c) Preventing unnecessary damage to equipment or other property

Interferes with, disturbs, alter or carry away any wreckage, article or thing at the scene of or connected with the occurrence until permission so to do has been given by an inspector.”

It is my opinion that they must not have had a JHSC to give them the information needed. This also looks like there was not a safety officer on site to control the situation.

All too often do we see that managers and supervisors rearranging things before the MOL has a chance to conduct the accident investigation. The onus is on the site supervisor to take control of the accident scene and not disturb it.

Recently, I wrote a blog post on about a person falling from a roof at a construction site and the supervisor added 3-5 ropes to insinuate that they were there before the accident. Did he/she not think that the MOL would not interview everyone on site at the time and do you think that a question like that would have been asked? You bet you would but this supervisor, in this case, did not want to take any blame but did anyway.

Oh well, another worker dies on the job in Ontario. Poor management and poor supervision once again!

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 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

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