Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
During a roof replacement project, a worker was fatally injured when a concrete roof deck panel collapsed, causing the worker to fall.
Upfield Canada Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, a producer of plant-based food products, was the constructor of the project and Provincial Industrial Roofing and Sheet Metal Company Limited, of Concord, Ontario, was the roofing company employer.
At the time of the incident, Upfield Canada Inc. was conducting extensive renovations at their commercial property at 8-10 Craig Street in Brantford, Ontario, including demolition and roof replacement work.
Upfield Canada Inc. contracted Provincial Industrial Roofing and Sheet Metal Company Limited, an industrial roofing company, to replace the building’s flat roof.
The roof replacement project required removing the existing flat-roof system, including the pre-manufactured concrete deck and the membrane materials located on top of the deck. To remove the membrane materials, workers used “roof cutters,” which are devices resembling large circular saws mounted to a rolling cart that the operator walks behind. The roof membrane materials were cut into chunks and removed. Then the exposed concrete roof deck was swept and cleared of remaining debris in preparation for its removal.
On April 1, 2021, a worker, employed by Provincial Industrial Roofing and Sheet Metal Company Limited was pushing a wheelbarrow of debris towards the disposal chute when the concrete roof deck panel beneath them collapsed, causing the worker to fall and be fatally injured.
Following guilty pleas by both companies in the Ontario Court of Justice in Brantford, Ontario, Upfield Canada Inc. was fined $125,000, and Provincial Industrial Roofing and Sheet Metal Company Limited was fined $175,000 by Justice Gethin B. Edward; Crown Counsel Marco Galluzzo and Tyler Fram.
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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Upfield Canada Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 23, subsection 1(c) which states,
“A constructor shall ensure, on a project undertaken by the constructor that,
(c) the health and safety of workers on the project is protected.”
Industrial Roofing and Sheet Metal was found guilty of a contravention of the OHSA section 2, subsection (h) which states,
“An employer shall,
(h) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
Many questions should have been asked and answered.
- Where was the supervisor?
- Was a hazard assessment been completed?
- Did the employer even aware of the hazard? And
- Why was the employee placed at risk in the 1st place?
If Industrial Roofing and Sheet Metal had asked and answered these 4 questions I would wager the worker would be alive today.
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.
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.