Blog Post #1003 – Roofing Firm Fined Over Fire

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour issued an $80,000 fine to a roofing company in Ottawa on January 7, 2019 after workers suffered critical injuries on a rooftop balcony.

Ottawa Permanent Roofing was installing a new roof on a two-story residential home and a second-story balcony on July 5, 2017, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour reports. The adhesive glue used to install the balcony membrane caught fire while three workers were present. Two of the workers caught fire, while the third employee sustained serious burns to the arms, legs and torso.

Investigation revealed that there was no fire extinguisher on the balcony, written emergency procedures for the project were not in place and workers did not have an adequate means of egress from the balcony during an emergency.

Following an ex parte trial in which no one appeared in court on behalf of the defendant, the firm was fined for failing to establish written procedures for employees to follow in the event of an emergency, making at least one fire extinguisher readily accessible at a project and providing an adequate means of egress for workers to evacuate in an emergency.

My opinion

The “Critical Injury” definition comes from the Ontario regulation 834.

““critically injured” means an injury of a serious nature that,

(a) places life in jeopardy,

(b) produces unconsciousness,

(c) results in substantial loss of blood,

(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,

(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,

(f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or

(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.”

A complete hazard assessment should have been completed prior to any work is to be done.

The fine was definitely in line with the accident, mind you, the long-term costs would far outweigh the $80,000 fine initiated. (Possibly over $1,000,000)

everyone seems to be an expert in the green book but does not really understand it until an accident occurs. This would be a perfect time for an organization to contact companies such as HRS Group Inc. to provide more information for regulatory compliance. Our people are ready to help you when called upon.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

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’ 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.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.


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