Blog Post #684 – Student Injured on Site

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A co-op construction technology student suffered minor injuries after falling about 2.4 m from a ladder.

On November 19, 2012, the high school student from the District School Board of Niagara was working on framing a home and a new housing development site in Pelham, Ontario when he fell off a ladder, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) reports. The student was transported to a nearby hospital, notes a statement from the Niagara Regional Police Service.

The Ministry is investigating the incident. Three orders under the provincial Ontario Occupational Health & Safety ‘construction’ regulation 213/91 have been issued to constructor DeHaan Homes Inc.:

• A guard rail system that meets the requirements of this section shall be used if a worker has access to the perimeter or an open side of a floor, a bridge surface, a roof while formwork is underway or a scaffold or work platform and is exposed to a fall of 2.4 m or more;

• A letter used as a regular means of access between levels of a structure shall be secured at the top and bottom to prevent movement; and

• The constructor shall ensure that the emergency procedures are posted in a conspicuous place at the project.

Brett Sweeney, media relations officer for the District School Board of Niagara, says the district has been running the co-op house building program since 2003. “They have built 15 houses now and this would be the first injury.”

He adds that the program, available to a student in grades 10 to 12, offers training in Ladder Safety, Workplace Hazardous Material Information System, (WHMIS) First Aid and cardiac pulmonary resuscitation prior to heading out to the site.

My opinion

The District School Board tried to justify this accident by stating that there were, in total, 15 houses and only one injury. Could you picture a large housing construction site that had 1 accident every 15 houses? Let me do the math. 300 houses would ensure 20 accidents with the 15:1 ratio. The site involved would have been shut down, the constructor heavily fined and probably out of business.

Please ensure that your workplace recognizes all the associated hazards and that hazard controls are in place prior to any work is being done.

That is the LAW!

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.

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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