Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (October 2014)
Ontario’s Ministry of Labour has laid 22 Occupational Health & Safety charges against two companies and three individuals, following a dramatic helicopter rescue late last year. (2013)
On December 17, 2013, the crane operator was working at a construction project in Kingston, Ontario when he suffered burns from a fire, requiring a military helicopter to rescue him from his stranded position above the flames.
Eight months later on August 26, 2014 the provincial labour ministry announced that 11 charges relating to fire-safety precautions and 11 for non-cooperation with the investigation had been issued.
Labour Ministry spokesperson Bruce Skeaff confirms that altogether, the Ministry laid 10 charges against Jay Patry Enterprises Inc., two against Stelmach Property Management Inc., and 10 against Jason Patry, supervisor Nathan Patry and Troy Selmach. Jay Patry Enterprises faces charges as a constructor, employer and corporation. The charges include failure to do the following:
- Provide an adequate means of egress from a work area so that workers can evacuate during an emergency;
- Ensure that a permanent or temporary standpipe is installed within two stories of the uppermost work level of a project;
- Inspect every fire extinguisher for defects or deterioration; and
- Take reasonable precautions to protect workers’ health and safety, including ensuring a minimum of two exits on each level of a project and/or ensuring the maximum travel distance to and exit does not exceed 200 feet.
Stelmach Property Management is charged with two counts of failing to comply with requirements issued by an inspector. Jason Patry, supervisor Nathan Patry and Troy Selmach are all charged with providing false information to an inspector, while Jason Patry is also charged with obstructing an inspector and failing to furnish all necessary means to facilitate the inspection. Other charges mirror those that have been issued to Jay Patry Enterprises.
Why would anyone attempt to lie to the Ministry of Labour? Why would anyone feel that he/she could get away with it? Why did the supervisor not take the worker’s health and safety seriously? All good questions, but as it happens many times, no answers.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ 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.