Blog Post #1487 – Workplace Fatality Leads to $110,000 Fine for Chepstow-based Manufacturer

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker was fatally injured during the movement of concrete slabs. Fritz Construction Services Inc. (the Company), from Chepstow, Ontario, failed as an employer to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by regulation were carried out at a worksite.

On the day of the incident, a worker was assisting in the plant, operating a trolley system used to transport slabs of precast concrete through the building to outside the facility. The worker was last seen between two trolley carts that moved on a cable and rail system operated by a hand-held remote control.

The worker was later found unconscious between concrete slabs being transported by the two carts. There were no witnesses to the incident. The worker was taken to hospital, but later succumbed to injuries suffered.

A Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development investigation found that the primary cause of the incident was the ability of the carts to make contact, thereby creating a crush hazard.

The investigation also found no safeguards in place to protect workers from this hazard. A major contributing factor was the Company’s installation of a wire rope clamp on the wagon puller cable which was inconsistent with the manufacturer’s design.

Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Walkerton, Ontario, the Company was fined $110,000 by Justice of the Peace Angela Renaud; Crown Counsel, David McCaskill.

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:

Fritz Construction Services Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ sector regulation 851/90, section 45(a) which states,

“Material, articles or things,

  • required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards, including protective clothing, guards or other precautions as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker.”

This is in direct contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

There are many questions that needed to be asked and answered;

  • Why was there not a hazard assessment completed?
  • Why did they not follow the engineering design instead of a makeshift control?
  • Where was the supervisor in all this? And
  • Was he competent to supervise the operation.

All good questions but no answers, it seems.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need including ‘Material Handling’.

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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