Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Crawford Roofing Corporation, a Toronto-based roofing company, has been fined $150,000 for a violation of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker fell through an unprotected skylight opening.
On May 14, 2010, workers were engaged in replacing various sections of the roof on a single-storey industrial complex located at 1399 Kennedy Road in Toronto. The project included the removal and replacement of skylights on the roof. Workers first removed all of the existing material in the work area of the roof, then removed a skylight and placed a vapour barrier, consisting of reinforced paper, over the skylight opening. None of the workers were protected by any system of fall protection while performing this task and no signs were put up to warn other workers about the fall hazard.
At approximately 9:30 a.m., workers had just finished applying a vapour barrier over a skylight opening when another worker proceeded to move toward and onto the opening. Although a co-worker shouted a warning, the worker stepped onto the paper and fell through the skylight opening, falling about 20 feet to the concrete floor below. The worker died from blunt-impact head trauma as a result of the fall.
Crawford Roofing Corporation pleaded guilty to failing, as a constructor, to ensure that workers working around an opening were adequately protected and that signs to warn workers of a hazard were posted as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and was fined $150,000.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Patrick Marum. 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Crawford Roofing was may have been found guilty of a contravention of section 26.1, subsection 2, clause 1 and 2 which states,
“If it is not reasonably possible to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, a worker shall be adequately protected by at least one of the following methods of fall protection:
1. A travel restraint system that meets the requirements of section 26.4., or
2. A fall restricting system that meets the requirements of section 26.5.”
Crawford Roofing, in addition, could have been found guilty of a contravention of section 26.2, subsection 1 through 4 which states,
“ An employer shall ensure that a worker who may use a fall protection system is adequately trained in its use and given adequate oral and written instructions by a competent person.
(1.1) In addition to the requirements of subsection (1), an employer shall ensure that a worker who may use a fall protection system meets the working at heights training requirements of Ontario Regulation 297/13 (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training).
(2) The employer shall ensure that the person who provides the training and instruction referred to in subsection (1) prepares a written training and instruction record for each worker and signs the record.
(3) The training and instruction record shall include the worker’s name and the dates on which training and instruction took place.
(4) The employer shall make the training and instruction record for each worker available to an inspector on request.”
Crawford Roofing also needed signage posted to ensure that all workers were aware of the fall hazards as prescribed in the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 44, subsections 1 and 2 which states,
“1) Signs meeting the requirements of subsection (2) shall be posted in prominent locations and in sufficient numbers to warn workers of a hazard on a project.
(2) A sign shall contain the word “DANGER” written in legible letters that are at least 150 millimetres in height and shall state that entry by any unauthorized person to the area where the hazard exists is forbidden.”
And finally, Crawford Roofing was guilty of a violation of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,
“The employer shall ensure that,
(c) The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
The new ‘Working at Heights’ legislation, recently enacted, would have given more protection to this employee.
Please have your company fully trained. This means the senior management, middle managers as well as your supervisors NEED to review the same information and receive the ‘Certification’ training by an approved provider.
IT IS THAT IMPORTANT!!!
Your company MUST comply and your workers will certainly appreciate your intention to put their safety first!
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’ and Working at Heights’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal – CHSEP Advanced
VP & Senior Trainer