Blog Post #1483 – Workplace Fatality Results in $110,000 Fine for Brantford Roofing Company

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

On July 30, 2021, five workers, employed by Jackson Roofing & Son Contracting Inc. of Brantford, Ontario, were on the rooftop of a portable classroom at an elementary school. None of the workers were wearing fall protection, nor were there guardrails or barriers around the roof perimeter of the portable.

Two of the workers began unrolling a roll of membrane along the roof. In doing so, one walked backwards towards the edge of the roof.

The other worker called out “edge is coming up”; however, it was too late. The worker fell backwards off the roof onto the asphalt pavement, sustaining fatal injuries.

Following a guilty plea in the Ontario Court of Justice, Hamilton, Jackson Roofing & Son Contracting Inc. was fined $110,000 by Justice of the Peace K. Whittard; Crown Counsel, Neil Dietrich.

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:

Jackson Roofing was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Construction sector 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,
  4. A safety net that meets the requirements.”

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.”

It is all very simple, when an employee is more than 10 feet off the ground, he/she MUST be protected from the possible fall.

I also wonder of the employer received Working at Heights training. If they had taken the training then all would have been clear including the fact that the employees MUST follow the training.

Too late for the employee.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Violence’ and ‘Harassment’. 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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