Blog Post #1144 – Fatal Fall Results in $150,000 Fine for Windsor Company

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker was killed after falling through a skylight in a building that was having new electrical equipment installed. The worker’s employer was Vollmer Inc., 3822 Sandwich Street, a multi-trade construction contractor located in Windsor.

Vollmer Inc. was working on a project that involved installing new electrical equipment and cable for new machinery being set up in a Windsor plant.

A worker, along with a crew, was engaged in pulling lengths of heavy electrical cable onto the roof of the plant. During a break, the worker was observed in an area of the roof; the crew heard a crash, saw a shattered skylight and the worker on the concrete floor directly below.

The fallen worker was taken to hospital and pronounced deceased.

Although the skylights still had all of their covers on them, there were no guardrails, protective coverings or other means of fall protection installed or implemented to protect workers from the danger of failing through the skylights on the roof of the project.

Following a guilty plea, Vollmer Inc. was fined $150,000 by Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman; Crown Counsel David McCaskill.

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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Vollmer Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 26.2, subsection (1.1) which states,

26.2 (1.1) “In addition to the requirements of subsection (1), an employer shall ensure that a worker who may use a fall protection system meets the working at heights training requirements of Ontario Regulation 297/13 (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training).”

As an approved provider for “Working at Heights” training course, (full day and refresher), it is not uncommon for companies to forget the training and go on as “Business as Usual”. I have seen it many times and cannot understand the logic. The protection of the worker is paramount and all aspects of the training has to be applied in the workplace including a fall hazard assessment at each site and the provision of fall protection equipment necessary for all workers, who work at heights, can work safely.

I guess Vollmer did not receive the memo or understood the underlying message of the training.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including Working at Heights OR Fall Protection. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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



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