Blog Post #1162 – Ottawa Permanent Roofing Fined $80,000 for Occupational Health and Safety Violations

Happy Canada Day from our HRS Group Inc. team!

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker on a roofing project located at a residence in Ottawa, Ontario, suffered critical injuries when a fire broke out on a rooftop balcony. The worker was employed by Ottawa Permanent Roofing Inc.

Ottawa Permanent Roofing was hired by a homeowner to supply and install a new roof on a two-storey residential home, including a second-storey balcony.  Adhesive glue used in the installation of the balcony membrane caught fire while three workers were present on the balcony.

Two of the workers caught fire. One received serious burns to the arms, legs and torso as a result. There was no fire extinguisher on the balcony and there were no written emergency procedures for the project.

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), Ottawa Permanent Roofing Inc. was fined $­­­­80,000 in Ottawa court by Justice of the Peace Andrew I. Seymour; Prosecutor Matthew De Lio, Student-at-law; Crown Counsel Gráinne McGrath.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Ottawa Permanent Roofing Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ sector regulation 213/91, section 17, subsection 1 which states,

“A constructor shall establish, for a project, written procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency and shall ensure that the procedures are followed at the project.”

Ottawa Permanent Roofing Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of 213/91, section 52, subsection (1) which states,

“Fire extinguishing equipment shall be provided at readily accessible and adequately marked locations at a project.”

Ottawa Permanent Roofing Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of 213/91 section 52, subsection 2(a) which states,

“At least one fire extinguisher shall be provided,

  • where flammable liquids or combustible materials are stored, handled or used.”

Ottawa Permanent Roofing Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of 213/91, section 71 which states,

“Adequate means of egress shall be provided from a work area to permit the evacuation of workers during an emergency.”

And finally, Ottawa Permanent Roofing was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 23, subsection 1 which states,

“A constructor shall ensure, on a project undertaken by the constructor that,

(a) the measures and procedures prescribed by this Act and the regulations are carried out on the project;

(b) every employer and every worker performing work on the project complies with this Act and the regulations; and

(c) the health and safety of workers on the project is protected.”

So many things went wrong here. The worker(s) did not need to be in danger if a JHA was completed prior to any work was done and the possible hazard was identified, assessed and controlled and per the regulations.

I guess they never received the memo. I was also disappointed that they did not have the courage to attend their own trial. Very cowardly!

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’, ‘Chemical 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.

Daniel L. Beal

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








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