Blog Post #1309 – Bolton Company Fined $50,000 After Worker Injured by Collapsing Structure

Excerpt from the government of Ontario‘s ‘Newsroom’

A steel structure assembly collapsed, injuring a worker, employed by Rafat General Contracting Inc. of Bolton, Ontario, who was doing work in an existing vacant building. Rafat General Contracting provides excavation, demolition and other services to the construction industry.

A multi-storey building in Toronto was being renovated. Rafat General Contracting was hired to perform work to demolish and dismantle parts of the interior from the third floor down to the basement, and to clean up and remove all debris.

As work was being done in the basement, a horizontal steel beam was in place on what was the ceiling of the basement floor supporting part of the floor of the first floor.

The supervisor of the company noticed the west end of the steel beam was resting on a steel plate on top of the steel column, but was not connected. The east end of the beam, however, was connected by bolts to another steel column.

The supervisor used the bucket of a mini excavator belonging to the company to push the west end of the steel beam and to move it off the steel plate, and then lowered the west end of the beam to the concrete floor below.

The east end of the horizontal beam remained connected to its vertical steel column, which remained in an upright position. Shortly thereafter, the steel assembly collapsed, striking a worker and pinning the worker under the collapsed structure. The injured worker sustained serious injuries.

Following a trial, Rafat General Contracting Inc. was fined $50,000 by The Honourable Mr. Justice Steven R. Clark of the Ontario Court of Justice, Old City Hall, Toronto; Crown Counsel Shantanu Roy.

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:

Rafat General Contracting Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction Projects’ regulation 213/91, section 31, subsection 1(b) which states,

Every part of a project, including a temporary structure,

(b)  shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.

This is in direct contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

 (c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

Section 31, subsection 1(b) has been used many times during the past 11 years of this blog. It seems many temporary structures like retaining walls have been falling over frequently due to poor ground conditions or poor weather conditions. (high winds, freezing rain etc.)

Please read the blog and look for other posts that meet your companies needs. There are many to choose from and the 4 sectors, Mining, Construction, Healthcare and Industrial, each having examples of many types of contraventions. One may fit your own workplace.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. 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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