Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Vrancor Development Corporation, a Burlington construction company, was fined $65,000 for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a routine inspection. Sean Kehoe, a supervisor with the company, was fined $2,000 in relation to the same inspection.
On February 19, 2009, Vrancor was constructing a hotel and retail space on Champlain St. in North Bay. A Ministry of Labour inspector conducted a routine inspection of the project. The inspector noticed that the entranceways to and from the work area were obstructed and issued an order to keep the routes clear. When the inspector visited the site the next day, the entranceways were still not clear.
Vrancor Development Corporation was found guilty of failing, as a constructor, to keep the routes to and from the work area clear of obstructions and fined $40,000. Sean Kehoe was found guilty of failing, as a supervisor, to ensure the same and fined $2,000.
The company was also found guilty of failing to comply with an order or a requirement by an inspector and fined $25,000.
The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace James Bubba. In addition to the fines, the court 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:
Vrancor Development Corporation, as well as Supervisor Sean Kehoe, were found guilty of a contravention of section 72(a) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 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 maintained at all times in a condition that does not endanger workers, and , without limiting the generality of the foregoing,
a) Shall be kept clear of obstructions.”
Vrancor Development Corporation was also found guilty of a contravention of section 66, subsection 1(b) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,
“Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with,
b) An order or requirement of an inspector or a Director,
Is guilty of an offence and, on conviction of an offence, is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to an imprisonment for a term of not more than twelve months, or to both.”
Here we have a company given proper direction by a MOL ‘Construction’ inspector. Each sector inspector has been trained in the regulation and understands the sector very well. This time we see a company not heeding warnings by the inspector, and, in ignoring the orders, found itself out of pocket of $67,000 + 25% which is $16,750 for a total of $83,750. I do not know about you but I think I would have cleaned up the area. They were breaking the law and I believe they did not take the inspector seriously. Oh well, pay me now or pay me later.
I also bet that the MOL inspector followed them around for while after this. One thing to remember, do not let you or your company get on the MOL’s radar. Do it safely the first time and you will have no call to look over your shoulder.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.