Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Tolin Enterprises Inc. of King City, a general construction contracting business which employs workers directly as well as subcontracts with trades, was fined $95,000 after a worker was killed by a falling steel beam.
Workers employed by a sub-contractor, CAM Construction, were on the residential construction site at Bob Yuill Drive in Toronto on February 14, 2011 and installing a structural steel beam when workers stopped to check the beam. A worker, using a ladder, was checking to see if the beam was level; the worker lost balance, grabbed the beam and fell to the ground. The beam then fell and struck the worker, who sustained a fatal injury.
Tolin Enterprises pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that the structural steel beam, as a part of the project, was adequately braced to prevent any movement that could affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse. The law requires employers to take the measures needed for safety and ensure that structures, including temporary ones, are braced.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Janice Stiff. 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.
In a previous prosecution, the direct employer of the deceased worker, CAM Construction, pleaded guilty to the offence of failing, as an employer, to take all reasonable precautions in the circumstances and specifically to failing, as an employer, to provide a safe installation procedure for the installation of an overhead structural steel garage beam to protect a worker. CAM was fined $12,500.
The law(s) in contravention:
Tolin Enterprises was found guilty of a contravention of section 31, subsection 1(b) of the Ontario ‘construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“Every part of a project, including a temporary structure,
(b) Shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.”
Tolin Enterprises was also found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the OHSA which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
Every procedure at a workplace should include a set of written safe work instructions. The supervisor, in this case, should have included a tailgate meeting discussing all possible and reasonable hazards associated with this type of operation. If the supervisor was NOT fully aware of the associated hazards then the employer is in violation of section 25, subsection 2 (c) of the OHSA which states,
“The employer shall,
c) when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.”
The worker is entitled to enjoying the protection of a safe work area. If you are an employer, please do everything reasonable to ensure that goal. There are many advantages to having a safe work area. Employee retention is just one of them.
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 – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.