Blog Post #1332 – Worker’s Fall from Catwalk Results in $65,000 Fine for Quarry Operator

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by James Dick Construction Limited of Caledon, Ontario, fell into a quarry when a catwalk gave way. The catwalk had not been maintained in a safe condition.

On June 3, 2019, a worker was making repairs to rubber skirts of a screen in the lower feed hopper.  While performing the work, the catwalk the worker was standing on gave way and the worker fell about 15 feet to the quarry material below. The worker suffered injuries.

Inspection of the catwalk after the incident showed that the steel in the floor grating, toe board and handrails had deteriorated. The catwalks at the Ramara quarry had previously been identified as requiring maintenance.

Following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Orillia, James Dick Construction was fined $65,000 by Justice of the Peace Alice Napier; Crown Counsel Judy L. Chan.

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:

James Dick Construction was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Mining and Mining Plants sector regulation 854/90, section 54, subsection 1(a) which states,

1) “A walkway, stairway or ladderway shall be,

(a)  maintained in a safe condition.”

This is contrary to 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.”

It is difficult to see an employer not following up on suggested maintenance. If it was caught by the JHSC, did the management team at James Dick Construction not understand that the minutes of the committee meeting are of public record?

I guess not. Too bad, though. Another worker needs to get hurt before many employers react.

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.

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
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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