Blog Post #546 – Paramount Structures Fined $50,000, Supervisor and Worker Also Fined after Equipment Falls from Condo Construction Site

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Paramount Structures Ltd. of Bolton, a supervisor and a worker were fined a total of $55,000 after equipment fell from a condominium building under construction in Toronto.

About 75 workers from various employers were on the site at 1 Market Place on October 13, 2011 when Paramount supervisor Luis Pavao assigned workers to move equipment to an upper floor. One of the workers, Carlos Cordeiro, was overseeing the placement of the equipment, called a ‘fly table.’ Paramount Structures was contracted to perform the formwork required on the project.

The fly table was not tied or secured, and while it was being hoisted it became unbalanced and slid to the ground. It landed on neighbouring railway property. No one was struck by the falling fly table. A Ministry of Labour investigation followed.

Paramount Structures pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that every part of a project must be constructed so it is supported and braced to prevent any movement that may cause its failure or collapse, and was fined $50,000.

A guilty plea was entered by supervisor Luis Pavao to the same charge; he was fined $3,000.

A fine of $2,000 was imposed on worker Carlos Cordeiro, who pleaded guilty to the same charge.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Tina Wassenaar. 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

There was only one law deemed to have been violated in this matter. The company, the supervisor and the worker were all charged under it.

Under the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 31(1) it states,

“Every part of a project, including a temporary structure,

(a) Shall be designed and constructed to support or resist all loads and forces to which it is likely to be subjected without exceeding the allowable unit stress for each material used; and

(b) shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.”

It was very fortunate that no one was hurt in this endeavour. This is also the first time I have had to report a worker being convicted of the same charges. It is expected to see the employer and/or the supervisor receive a fine and possibly jail time but I have not been able to report anything concerning the charging and conviction of a worker.

New territory for me that is for sure!

The employer must ensure that all aspects of the job are covered and a set of safe work instructions and are discussed during a tailgate or toolbox meeting. All hazards reasonable MUST be identified, assessed and controlled prior to any work being done.

I would safely assume that Paramount Structures had never read section 31 of the ‘Construction’ regulation. I would wager they have a better understanding of it now!

Please do not hesitate to contact HRS Group Inc. when it comes to finding out the necessary requirements for your job. Our experts know the law and we have the people ready to meet your needs in the Mining, Construction, Industrial and Healthcare sectors. These experts are here to work for you to ensure compliance with all aspects of your job!

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.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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