Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Pro Renovations Solutions Inc. of Mississauga, was subcontracted to make repairs to an apartment building in Peterborough, Ontario. On November 01, 2016, a worker on a 10-storey building lost balance at the roof edge and fell to the ground, sustaining critical injuries as a result. The worker was not protected by any form of fall protection while on the roof.
Several Pro Renovations Solutions employees were setting up a swing stage on the roof of the building. Another employee went to the roof to bring a wrench to the workers who were setting up the swing stage. That worker was not protected by any form of fall protection while on the roof.
After giving the wrench to a co-worker, the worker went to another part of the roof to assist others, lost balance at the edge of the roof and fell 10 storeys to the ground below. The worker sustained critical injuries as a result of the fall.
On November 1, 2016, Pro Renovations Solutions Inc. failed as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 26.1(2) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 (the Construction Projects Regulation) were carried out at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. (OHSA)
The company was fined $60,000 in Peterborough Provincial Offences Court, 70 Simcoe Street, Peterborough, by Justice of the Peace Peter J. Hiscox. Crown Counsel: Jai Dhar.
The court also 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Pro Renovations Solutions Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ sector regulation 213/91, section 26.1, subsection 2 which states,
“If it is not practicable to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, a worker shall be adequately protected by the highest ranked method that is practicable from the following ranking of fall protection methods:
- A travel restraint system that meets the requirements;
- A fall restricting system that meets the requirements;
- A fall arrest system, other than a fall restricting system designed for use in wood pole climbing, that meets the requirements; or
- A safety net that meets the requirements.”
Since this was contrary to the OHSA, section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
This hit us particularly hard since this happened in our own backyard. Too often, we find people working around an elevated height and end up falling because the employer did not do enough to protect their worker. Way too often!
A completed JHA (job hazard analysis or assessment) was to be completed prior to any work is to be done. The safety personal, if they had any, would have dealt with the possible hazard using the “Hierarchy of Controls” which is part of almost any health and safety training program. It certainly is a part of the JHSC, part 1 training.
“Working at Heights” training also includes the “Hierarchy of Controls” as part of the training.
I have listed the “Hierarchy of Controls” below. They will be listed from the most to the least important.
- Elimination – To eliminate the hazard altogether,
- Substitution – To substitute one hazard for one less hazardous,
- Isolation – To isolate the worker from the hazard,
- Engineering Controls – A possible example would be mechanical ventilation adequate to the needs,
- Administration Controls – Training, product and procedural controls, providing PPE, etc.
- Personal Protective Equipment – PPE is the last line defence
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. (including “Working at Heights” and JHA)
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’, ‘Working at Heights’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.