Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A worker, employed by Spartan Weatherguard Exteriors, of North Gower, Ontario, was seriously injured when they slipped on ice that had accumulated on an elevated platform and fell through a gap between the platform and a wall.
Spartan Weatherguard Exteriors was an employer on a residential development project and subcontracted exterior wall work to another company.
On December 20, 2019, a worker employed by the subcontracted company was working from an elevated work platform, called a pump jack, installing soffit and exterior siding to the wall of a home.
Ice had accumulated on the platform throughout the day. The worker slipped on the ice, fell, and rolled toward the wall of the home, where they fell approximately 4.9 metres through the gap between the platform and the wall, sustaining serious injuries.
The manufacturer’s manual for the pump jack states that the gap between the platform and the wall shall not be more than 12 inches and that fall protection is always required while using the pump jack.
Following an ex parte trial in the Provincial Offences Court in Ottawa, Spartan Weatherguard Exteriors was fined $75,000 for three offences ($25,000 per count) by Justice of the Peace Louise Logue. Crown Counsel was Madeleine Chin-Yee.
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:
Spartan Weatherguard Exteriors was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction Projects’ sector regulation 213/91, section 72, subsection (b) which states.
“A work area, a route to and from a work area and a scaffold platform on which work is being performed shall be always maintained in a condition that does not endanger workers and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,
(b) shall be kept clear of snow, ice, or other slippery material.”
Spartan Weatherguard Exteriors was also found guilty of a contravention of the same regulation, section 93, subsection (3) which states,
“All vehicles, machines, tools and equipment shall be used in accordance with any operating manuals issued by the manufacturers.”
This is contrary to section 25, subsection 1(c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
As the reader can see, this type of accident should never have happened if the employer completed a hazard assessment prior to the operation and had a better understanding of both the OHSA and any sector regulations available.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including “Due Diligence”.
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.