Blog Post #552 – VHL Developments Inc. Fined $125,000 after Worker Killed on Residential Construction Site

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

VHL Developments Inc. of Toronto, a developer and builder of condominiums and residences, was fined $125,000 after a worker fell while working on a balcony under construction and was killed.

Workers employed by a sub-contractor, Excel Masonry Inc., were on the site at 30 Fifeshire Road in Toronto on August 28, 2012 installing limestone when one of the workers fell from the scaffold system to the ground. The worker was working from a scaffold system at a height of more than 2.4 metres above ground and sustained a fatal head injury as a result of the fall.

A Ministry of Labour investigation showed that the scaffold did not have a guardrail system to prevent access to the perimeter.
VHL Developments Inc. pleaded guilty to failing, as a constructor, to ensure that every employer and every worker performing work on the project complies with measures and procedures under section 26.3(1) of Ontario Regulation 213/91.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Sandra Anstey. 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:

VHL Developments Inc. was found guilty of violating section 26.3 (1) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“a guardrail system that meets the requirements of this section shall be used if a worker has access to the perimeter or an open side of any of the following work surfaces and is exposed to a fall of 2.4 metres or more:

1. A floor, including the floor of a mezzanine or balcony.
2. The surface of a bridge.
3. A roof while formwork is in place.
4. A scaffold platform or other work platform, runway or ramp.

The world would certainly be much safer if all employers would read section 26 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation. The new ‘Working at Heights’ legislation that just came out is a perfect example of changes that necessary in the workplace.

It is my hope that HRS Group Inc. becomes one of the providers for this training and does its part in ensuring a safe work environment.

Wish us luck. The application process is overwhelming, to say the least!

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 ‘Fall Protection’, ‘Scaffold Safety Awareness’ and Working at Heights’. 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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