Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Homestead Land Holdings Limited, of Kingston, hired Reimar Construction Corporation, to work at a high-rise residential construction site at 40 Towering Heights Boulevard, St. Catharines.
Two workers were critically injured from a fall, caused by an elevator shaft platform collapse. The convicted parties failed to ensure that the measures and procedures required by Section 89(2) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 were carried out.
On April 16, 2021, Homestead Land Holdings Limited was the constructor of a high-rise residential tower on Towering Heights Boulevard in St. Catharines. The company had contracted Reimar Construction Corporation to perform concrete formwork.
Jose Martinho, a supervisor, had assigned two workers to move and install formwork for the inner walls of the building’s elevator shaft from the eighth to the ninth storey.
The workers, the supervisor and a crane operator began to install and level an elevator shaft platform for the inner wall elevator formwork and for the workers to stand on while installing the formwork. The platform was supported by beams that rested in pockets formed into the concrete elevator walls. The workers had trouble aligning all the beams into their respective pockets.
The supervisor installed an additional bracket under one end of one of the support beams since the workers were having trouble with the adjusting screw and there was concern over the amount of bearing in that pocket.
No engineering approval was obtained for the installation of the bracket, and the heads of the anchors that attached the bracket to the concrete, which did not fail, were too small for the opening in the bracket.
Once the platform was installed and levelled, an approximately 5,430 kg section of formwork was placed on it and the two workers entered onto the platform. As the workers were working, the platform collapsed at one end, causing the workers to fall, and become critically injured.
Homestead Land Holdings Limited, as the constructor, was fined $150,000.
Reimar Construction Corporation was fined $200,000.
Jose Martinho, the supervisor of the two workers was fined $15,000.
Miguel Martins, the director of Reimar Construction Corp., was fined $15,000.
The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Bruce Phillips following guilty pleas at the Provincial Offences Court in Welland; Crown counsel Daniel Kleiman.
The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge on each fine 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:
Reimar Construction and Homestead Land Holdings were found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 89, subsection (2) which states,
“Formwork and falsework shall be designed by an engineer in accordance with good engineering practice and be installed or erected in accordance with the design drawings.”
Jose Martinho, the supervisor for Reimer Construction Corp. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 27, subsection 2(c) which states,
“A supervisor shall,
(c) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
Miguel Martins was found guilty of a contravention of the OHSA, section 32, subsection (a) which states,
“Every director and every officer of a corporation shall take all reasonable care to ensure that the corporation complies with,
(a) this Act, and the regulations.”
I was very disturbed by this accident. The constructor, the contractor, the supervisor, and director missed the sections requiring engineering standards and drawings.
I would wager they know them now. A little late for the two employees.
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.