Blog Post #1408 – Workplace Injury Results in $75,000 Fine for Ayton-based Firm Company and Supervisor Plead Guilty to OHSA Violation

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Domm Construction Ltd., a company engaged in agricultural, commercial, municipal, and residential construction. was critically injured while performing duties at a construction site.  Shawn Weltz, a supervisor, was also charged in the accident.

On October 29, 2020, four workers employed by Domm Construction Ltd. were working on the construction of a new barn. The workers were installing ‘girts’ atop the roof trusses of the barn. Girts are 16-foot long, two-inch by four-inch timbers nailed to the inclined top timbers of roof trusses.

One worker went down the incline to get additional girts. On the way back up, the worker stepped on the end of a girt that had been set in place but not yet nailed in. The unsecured girt slid down the inclined timber of the truss. The sudden, unexpected movement caused the worker to fall approximately 16 feet to the concrete floor of the barn and suffer a critical injury.

A Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development investigation determined that Domm Construction Ltd. had not established or trained workers on a safe procedure for installing girts.

In addition, despite being exposed to a fall of more than three metres, the injured worker was not protected by a method of fall protection. The workers had personal fall protection harnesses and lanyards at the job site, but none of them were wearing the equipment, and there were no lifelines nor retractable lifelines set up on the roof.

The workers had received formal Working at Heights Training, as required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), but no site or task-specific training was provided by the employer.

Following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Owen Sound, Domm Construction Ltd. was fined $75,000 by Justice of the Peace Thomas Stinson; Crown Counsel, Alessandra Hollands.

Shawn Weltz, a supervisor, previously pleaded guilty.

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:

Shawn Weltz, a supervisor, was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction Projects’ regulation 213/91, section 26.1, subsection 2 which states,

“If it is not practicable to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, a worker shall be adequately protected by the highest ranked method that is practicable from the following ranking of fall protection methods:

  1. A travel restraint system that meets the requirements,
  2. A fall restricting system that meets the requirements,
  3. A fall arrest system, other than a fall restricting system designed for use in wood pole climbing, that meets the requirements, or
  4. A safety net that meets the requirements.”

This is contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 27, subsection 1(a) which states,

“A supervisor shall ensure that a worker,

  • works in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and the regulations.”

This is contrary to section 25, subsection 2(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall,

“Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

It is sad that companies take the ‘Working at Heights’ training and then decide not to use it. Happens more often than one might think. Too bad for the employee here. He/she deserved to be better protected, especially since the supervisor received the same training as well.

Sections 25 and 27 of the OHSA are explicit when dealing with supervisor and employer’s responsibilities.

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







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