Blog Post #570 – Co-X-Co Construction Fined $55,000 after Worker Loses Limb

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Co-X-Co Construction Ltd., an Etobicoke business contracted by the City of Toronto, has been fined $55,000 after a worker was seriously injured by moving equipment on a road project.

On April 5, 2011, Co-X-Co workers were removing asphalt to conduct work where a water main had been installed near Bloor Street West and Keele Street in Toronto. All the workers were working in front of the excavator except for one who moved behind the excavator to adjust pylons so traffic could safely pass in the open lane. The worker called out to the operator to stop the excavator prior to going behind it; however, the excavator moved backward. The worker ended up beneath one of the excavator’s tracks; a leg was crushed and amputation was required.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that no signaler was assisting the operator when a worker could have been endangered by the moving excavator.

Co-X-Co Construction pleaded guilty to failing to have a signaler to assist an excavator operator at a construction project.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Vladimir Bubrin. 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:

Co-X-Co Construction Ltd. was found guilty of violating section 25, subsection 1(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety ACT (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

My opinion,

Where was the tailgate meeting prior to the operation? Is there a set of written work instructions available for the employee/worker to review prior to the work being done?

All hazards on the worksite have to be identified, assessed and controlled. Co-X-Co did not see the benefit in creating a safety culture at their workplace. It only cost an employee a leg! $55,000 is just a drop in the bucket. The worker has to live with this with this life-altering event and, that, in itself, is the biggest tragedy.

My heart goes out to that employee and his/her family. It certainly will not be easy.

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’, ‘Traffic Control Person’ 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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