Blog Post #579 – Millennium Crane Rentals Ltd. Fined $70,000 for Safety Violation

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

1531147 Ontario Ltd., operating as Millennium Crane Rentals Ltd., a Sault Ste. Marie construction company, was fined $70,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after inspectors visited a worksite in response to a worker fatality.

On April 16, 2009, Millennium Crane Rentals Ltd. was contracted at a construction project on Fifth Line East in Sault Ste. Marie. A worker was in an excavation when a crane owned by the company rolled into the excavation and pinned the worker to the wall. The worker was killed.

A Ministry of Labour inspection following the incident found that the crane was in a state of disrepair. The braking components of the crane were not fully functional. Parts of the braking system were found to be broken and deteriorated, including seized calipers and worn out brake pads and drums. One brake fluid reservoir was found to be empty and corroded inside. The crane had only 25% brake function in its four rear wheels, and only 31.25% brake function in its four front wheels. These defects ought to have been noticed by a competent worker inspecting the crane.

Millennium Crane Rentals Ltd. was found guilty of failing to ensure that the crane was maintained in a condition that would not endanger a worker. The Crown, however, could not prove that the lack of maintenance on the crane caused the crane to roll into the excavation and fatally injure the worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice Andrew Buttazzoni. 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:

Millennium Crane Rentals Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of section 93.1 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“All vehicles, machinery, tools and equipment shall be maintained in a condition that does not endanger a worker.”

Can you believe it? Using equipment that was not regularly serviced! Just another case of an employer putting the almighty dollar ahead of the welfare of the employees!

The competency standards were developed for a particular purpose. There had to be a standard for each operator of equipment to meet. In the old days, we would not have received competency training for forklift but learned on the go. This might have well been the case for Millennium Crane Rentals Ltd. The only problem is that the mobile crane is a lot more dangerous if not properly maintained.

By the way,

Did anyone pick up on the fact that Millennium CRANE Rentals Ltd. should be a leader in health and safety when dealing with cranes not a follower. I guess they did not read their own safety and maintenance manuals as well as Ontario ‘Construction’ regulations.

Too bad for the employee and the employee’s family!

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 Lifting and Rigging’ 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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