Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
1608337 Ontario Inc., carrying on business as Burton Roofing, has been fined $60,000 after a worker fell from a roof and sustained injury to lower limbs.
On October 12, 2012, a worker was engaged in roofing activities at a residential address on Concession Road 5 in Uxbridge. The worker fell from a height of about 13 feet and suffered breaks to the heels.
The worker had been using a travel restraint system that was attached to the roof by half of one nylon anchor strap. The nylon anchor strap was not wrapped around a structural member, as specified in an instruction manual; instead it was screwed into wood. When the worker used this system, the nylon anchor strap pulled free from the roof and the worker fell. The worker had received no training in the use of the anchor strap.
Burton Roofing was found guilty of failing to ensure compliance with Ontario’s construction regulation, which specifies that all tools and equipment must be used in accordance with any operating manuals issued by the manufacturers.
The company was also found guilty of failing as an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the worker’s health and safety, and of failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Leona M. Dombrowsky.
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:
Burton Roofing was found guilty of a contravention of section 23, subsection 1(a) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,
“A constructor shall ensure, on a project undertaken by the constructor that,
(a) The measures and procedures prescribed by this Act and the regulations are carried out on the project.”
Burton Roofing was also found guilty of a contravention of the following sections of the OHSA:
Section 25, subsection 2 (a) of the OHSA which states,
“An employer shall,
(a) Provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker;” and
Section 25, subsection 2 (h) of the OHSA which states,
“An employer shall,
(h) Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
Here we find another example why ‘Working at Heights’ is so poorly needed! The employer would have been better off with a training module by an approved provider and placed proper safeguards to protect the worker. Proper supervision, as explained in section 2 (a), is also a requirement and the employer MUST ensure that all procedures are carried out and properly supervised. THIS IS THE LAW!
Ensure your workplace is a safe place! Take the time to learn about the OHSA and appropriate sector regulations. You will certainly be glad you did.
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
HRS Group Inc.