Blog Post #322 – Omega Contractors Inc. Fined $52,000 after Worker injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Omega Contractors Inc., a London construction company, was fined $52,000 for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On May 27, 2009, the company was building sewers on Mornington St. in London. Workers had excavated part of the road and were working inside the excavation, in the rain. A piece of clay fell away from the excavation wall and partly buried one of the workers. The worker suffered broken bones and dislocated joints.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the wall of the excavation was not supported by a support system.

Omega Contractors Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the wall of the excavation was supported by an adequate support system.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Gay. In addition to the fine, 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Omega Contractors Inc. was found guilty of violating section 234(1) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“The walls of an excavation shall be supported by a support system that complies with sections 235, 236, 237,238,239, and 241.”

The construction regulation 213/91 is large and very difficult to understand unless one spends the time perusing through the appropriate sections that pertain to one’s own sections.

The Carswell copy of the OHSA has also the following regulations:

1) The ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90;
2) The Construction regulation 213/91;
3) The ‘Healthcare’ regulation 67/93;
4) The control of exposure to Biological or Chemical agents regulation 833;
5) Designated substances regulation 490/09;
6) WHMIS regulation 860;
7) First Aid requirements regulation 1101; and
8) Many smaller regulations.

The only sector regulation not included in the ‘Carswell’ copy is the ‘Mining’ regulation 854.

The government copy is hard to understand and, as an instructor of Basic Certification Level 1, I have found the ‘Carswell’ copy to be easier to search through. There is only one index and there are sub-headings including ‘SUPPORT SYSTEMS’ for this topic. Check it out!

Omega Contractors Inc. should have been very aware of the sections of the ‘Construction’ regulations prior to any work being done. “Ignorance of the law is no defense” is the basis of law in Ontario. Please research the appropriate sections of the OHSA and sector regulations before any work is to be done. Every worker is entitled to a safe workplace.

In closing, we at HRS Group Inc. wishes a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours! Have a safe time over the holidays and we hope to see you in the new year.

Bye for now.

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’, ‘Construction Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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