Blog Post #673 – Roof Collapses on Workers

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Mike Vallee, an employer who operated a demolition and salvage business, was fined $25,000 for contravening the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was killed and another seriously injured.

On June 25, 2010, the employees were working at a demolition project at a private home in Oro-Medonte. They were removing a dilapidated mobile home from the property and had removed the interior panelling and aluminum siding when the roof collapsed on them, a statement from the Ministry of Labour (MOL) noted on October 11, 2012.

The mobile home was already damaged prior to demolition. Its structural integrity was further compromised by the removal of its interior walls and exterior cladding during the demolition process, the statement adds.

Vallee pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to ensure that the mobile home was demolished systematically from the highest point to the lowest.

My opinion,

$25,000, really? The life of a worker and the possible permanent injury of a second worth $25,000? Was there ever a problem there! I bet the MOL investigation, report and follow-up cost more than that.

There were a number of sections of the Act and ‘Construction’ regulation that was contravened. Any of these can be have been used (or all of them) at a possible cost of $25,000 per contravention. Sections 25 and 26 of the Act cover any and all responsibilities of the employer and section 27 cover the responsibilities of the supervisor. Where WAS the supervisor of the project? Was he/she even aware of the dangers? If he/she did not then section 25, subsection 2 (c) of the Act stipulates that the employer must, when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.

Competency in Ontario is listed at the beginning of the Act and is defined as;

“Competent person” means a person who,

(a) Is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance;

(b) Is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work; and

(c) Has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.

Please ensure your workplace is a safe place. Train your supervisors properly and maybe an accident such as this one can be kept from your work site.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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