Blog Post #461 – Deep Foundations Ltd. Fined $90,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Deep Foundations Ltd., a Gormley, ON, construction company, was fined $90,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was critically injured.

On October 28, 2009, workers from the company were at a construction project at Woodroffe Rd. and Baseline Rd. in Ottawa. They were vibrating large steel beams into the ground to be used as piles to support the soil during construction. Four beams, or piles, had been welded onto a frame before the workers began setting them into the ground. Workers were vibrating one of the piles into place when another came loose from its welding. The pile fell and struck a worker, causing serious injuries.

Deep Foundations Ltd. was found guilty of failing to take the reasonable precaution of either:

• driving one pile at a time without having any others welded during the driving process, or
• having a professional engineer provide requirements for welding when one or more pile is welded while another is being driven.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Brian Mackey. 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:

Deep Foundations Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 2(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

Again, we see this particular passage being used to deal with occupational health and safety concerns. It is generic in nature but has been used more than any other section of the ACT or a section of any of the sector regulations. (I would venture a guess and say that at least 70 of the 460 blog posts.)

I do hope the message is getting through. I know there are many other companies in dire need of help but the lack of training in worker health and safety is a hindrance and the workers are continually being placed at risk. The MOL is expecting both the worker AND the supervisor receive proper training.

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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