Blog Post #589 – McNally Construction Inc. Fined $170,000 after Worker Fatally Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

McNally Construction Inc., a Hamilton construction company, was fined $170,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was fatally injured.

On September 30, 2011, a worker was operating a battery powered locomotive in a tunnel project at the northeast corner of Mississauga Road and Queen Street in Brampton. The worker used the locomotive to move debris from tunneling to the exit for removal. To reach the exit the worker had to move the locomotive along a track that ran through a steel gantry. While under the gantry, the locomotive stopped. A supervisor decided to disconnect the cars from the locomotive so that it could reach the exit and have a fresh battery installed. As the cars were being disconnected the worker’s head was raised between the locomotive battery and part of the gantry. The locomotive then moved forward, crushing the worker’s head between the battery pack and the gantry. The clearance between the highest level of the battery pack and the gantry was 4¾ inches (12.1cm). The worker suffered fatal injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the gantry was not safe for use with the locomotive supplied.

McNally Construction Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice George S. Gage. 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:

McNally Construction Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 2(h) of the OHSA which states,

“The employer shall,

Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

Here we find that another company has been found guilty of violating section 25, subsection 2(h). If you, the reader, have been a regular follower of the blog then he/she is familiar with the number of blog posts that have used 25, subsection 2(h). My last audit looked to be around the 90-100 post mark. Yes, it is the section that is used most often. Mind you, if there is a need to have changes made under current legislation then it usually happens the next year.

There also should have been a set of safe operating procedures to cover almost every contingency. Here we find that the supervisor had thoughts on his/her mind but did not relay those thoughts to his employees. An employee was killed because of the lack of instruction, information and supervision. Oh My God! That explains why I felt section 25, subsection 2 (a) should have been used as well.

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.

Leave a Comment