Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
An employee of Manotick Concrete Inc., 1249 River Road, Manotick, Ontario, provides concrete forming and foundation supplies, suffered critical injuries while working as part of a crew pouring concrete into form-work during the construction of the walls of a single-family home.
The worksite was a home in Greely, Ontario, where a concrete foundation was being poured by the company.
A worker was operating the hose of a concrete pumper truck pouring concrete into the wall forms while standing on an upper level of scaffolding.
The pumper truck was set up with all four outriggers fully extended and with steel plates under the base of the outriggers. The ground under the pump truck was partially covered in dark brown mulch and consisted of previously excavated soil.
While pouring the concrete required for foundation, one of the pumper truck’s outrigger hydraulic legs sunk about three feet into the ground, tipping the truck and moving the boom arm of the truck suddenly into a wall, injuring the worker who was operating the hose. The worker suffered critical injuries.
The Ministry of Labour inspector and engineer called to the scene determined that the primary factor that caused the pumper truck to overturn was that it had been improperly set up: specifically, the support area under the outrigger was too small. The support area is the footprint of the solid material placed under the outrigger to distribute the load over a greater surface area to avoid the outrigger sinking into the ground. The pumper truck was not set up according to the specifications in its operator’s manual.
As such, the defendant, Manotick Concrete Inc., failed to ensure that the outrigger of a concrete pumper truck was sufficiently supported as required by its operating manual.
Following a guilty plea, the company was fined $70,000 in Ottawa court by Justice of the Peace Herb Kreling; Crown Counsel Katherine Ballwweg.
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,
Manotick Concrete was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction Projects’ sector regulation 213/91, section 93, subsection (3) which states,
“All vehicles, machines, tools and equipment shall be used in accordance with any operating manuals issued by the manufacturers.”
I am sure that this was a Type III soil as described in the ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 226, subsection 4 which states,
(4) “Type 3 soil is,
(a) previously excavated soil; or
(b) soil that is stiff to firm or compact to loose in consistency and has one or more of the following characteristics:
(i) It exhibits signs of surface cracking.
(ii) It exhibits signs of water seepage.
(iii) If it is dry, it may run easily into a well-defined conical pile.
(iv) It has a low degree of internal strength.”
This part of the regulation is important when digging trenches to better protect workers from cave-ins. Why would this company not see the need to determine the soil type was not strong enough to support the pumper and, therefore, was necessary to expand the support area to better stabilize the pumper and the operation.
I bet you they will now!
A Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) would have gone a long way in identifying the hazard, assessing the situation and then place controls to ensure safety.
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’, ‘Trenching Safety Awareness’ 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.