Blog Post #1260 – Great Northern Insulation Fined $125,000 After Worker Fatality

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

The employer was Great Northern Insulation out of Woodstock, Ontario. The young worker (25 and younger) worked out of GNI’s Gravenhurst location. On the morning of November 23, 2018, the worker and a co-worker had just left a work site in Magnetawan in their truck. The worker was driving.  They had left the worksite because there was no room to park their truck. They we’re going to head to another job site.  They were in the process of turning around at an intersection in Magnetawan when the driving conditions convinced them to install tire chains as the road was very slippery.

The workers were installing chains on the front driver side tire when the truck, which had not been properly immobilized, started rolling and sliding forward and fatally ran the first worker over, before coming to a stop in a snowbank.

The company Failing to take reasonable precautions in the circumstances for the protection of a worker from the hazard of being struck by a moving vehicle not adequately immobilized when installing tire chains contrary to section 25(2)(h) of the OHSA.

Following a guilty plea on March 25, 2020, Justice of the Peace J. McMahon, sitting in Provincial Offences Court in Parry Sound fined the company $125,000. Crown Counsel: Tom Schneider.

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:

Great Northern Insulation was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 2(h) which states,

“An employer,

Shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

This section is the most used section by the Ministry of Labour since it covers any and all workplaces, (except for federal) in Ontario. Yes, it is vague in description of any-type accident, but there may not be a more descriptive section that could directly be used today. I do find, however, that there may be amendments coming in the next year to cover such changes. I will keep you abreast if I find one covering this accident.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’. 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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