Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
A supervisor with a numbered construction company operating as Rodco Enterprises in Haliburton, Ontario was fined $2,500 on February 22, 2013 for interfering with the scene of a critical workplace injury.
The incident took place in December of 2010 when workers were laying sheets of chip board on a deck at a residential construction site. One of the workers stepped backwards between two deck joists and fell almost four metres through the deck framing, sustaining fractures and a back injury.
The supervisor directed workers to install guardrails before the investigators from the provincial labour ministry (MOL) arrived at the scene and without the permission of a ministry inspector. The company was also given a fine $50,000 after pleading guilty to insure that a guardrail or fall arrest system was used while workers were exposed to a fall hazard of more than 3 metres.
Much has happened since this accident and the new ‘Working at Heights’ legislation and training requirements will go a long way to eliminate ridiculous accidents like this one.
The supervisor should have known, under section 27 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) that he/she must always do everything reasonable the circumstance for the protection of the worker. Subsection 2 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act covers the accident scene when a critical injury or death occurs. It basically states that no one can interfere with, disturb, alter or carry away any wreckage, article or thing at the scene of or connected with the occurrence until permission to do so has been given by an inspector.
This is a good example for all supervisors to ensure that an accident scene has not been disturbed. You’re responsible for the health and welfare of your workers. The trick is 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 ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Fall Protection, ‘Working at Heights’, ‘Supervisor and the Law’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.