Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Ji Nan Li, sole proprietor of a business named Yi Yi Construction, has pleaded guilty and has been fined $15,000 after a worker fell from a residential roof and later died of the resulting injuries.
On February 10, 2013, workers were laying shingles at a house under construction on Robert Berry Crescent in King City when one of the workers fell almost 24 feet to the ground from the second-storey roof. The worker was taken by air ambulance to hospital suffering injuries that included hemorrhaging in the brain, broken ribs and fractured vertebrae. A month later the worker died from the injuries; cause of death was found to be complications of blunt head trauma.
Neither the constructor nor the primary roofing contractor was at the construction project on the day of the incident, which was a Sunday. The defendant was a subcontractor carrying out work for the roofing contractor; there was a rule at the project forbidding work to be done on Sundays.
Nonetheless, without permission, the defendant and three workers were working at the site. The defendant later explained that he was working on the Sunday because he was behind schedule because of the weather.
Ji Nan Li, carrying on business as Yi Yi Construction, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that workers were protected by a fall protection system such as travel restraint, fall-restricting system or fall arrest system. He was fined $15,000 by Justice of the Peace Donovan Robinson in Newmarket.
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:
Yi Yi Construction was found guilty of a contravention of section 26.1, subsections (1) and (2) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
(1) “A worker shall be adequately protected by a guardrail system that meets the requirements.
(2) Despite subsection (1), if it is not practicable to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, a worker shall be adequately protected by the highest ranked method that is practicable from the following ranking of fall protection methods:
1. A travel restraint system that meets the requirements of section 26.4.
2. A fall restricting system that meets the requirements of section 26.5.
3. A fall arrest system, other than a fall restricting system designed for use in wood pole climbing, which meets the requirements of section 26.6.
4. A safety net that meets the requirements of section 26.8.”
Yi Yi Construction was also found guilty of a violation of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Ontario Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,
“1) An employer shall ensure that,
(c) The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
$15,000. Really? The life of a worker was held to a total of $15,000? Why let them stay in business at all if health and safety is not applied? All these questions have to be asked and answered before allowing these guys back to construction site.
24 feet! That is a long way down and fall protection is necessary when there is a chance of falling more than 10 feet, let alone 24 feet.
Thank God for the new ‘Working at Heights’ legislation. These questions I have listed above have been asked and answered and all construction workers MUST have the new training and apply the knowledge. Works for me!
In closing, my own construction project in the Peterborough area has had numerous violations, some right outside my front door. A call to the MOL has changed the ‘soft on safety’ culture there and I understand the site supervisor has had his duties fully explained to him. Too bad he didn’t feel that way before. Now the MOL has Peterborough on their schedule and will be here on a regular basis.
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 Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.