Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
2006652 Ontario Limited, carrying on business as Innovative Industries, has pleaded guilty and has been fined $80,000 after a worker suffered a fatal fall through a skylight on an industrial building.
On November 15, 2012, workers were performing roof repairs and installing new roofing materials on a building at 148 Mohawk Street in Brantford. The surface of the roof contained numerous skylight units and the work undertaken that day required workers to walk throughout the roof surface.
A worker was sent to assemble materials and tools and was last seen walking across the roof to do so. A short time later another worker discovered the dome of one of the skylight units was broken and looked down to see the worker lying face down on the concrete floor below, a distance of about 23 feet. At the time of the incident there were no safety devices such as guardrails, barriers or protective covers in place around or over the skylight units while workers were performing roof repairs. The worker who died was not using any type of fall protection equipment or system. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the company did not take reasonable precautions to protect the safety of the worker, as required by law.
Innovative Industries pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable precautions such as installing temporary guardrails or barriers around a skylight or installing a temporary skylight screen, grate or cover of material capable of handling any load imposed by a worker, or ensuring that a worker working near a skylight used a travel restraint system or a fall restricting system.
The company was fined $80,000 by Justice of the Peace Marsha Farnand in Provincial Offences Court in Brantford. 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:
Innovative Industries was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 2(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,
“An employer shall
(h) Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
The employer has to endeavor to search out possible and reasonable hazards, assess the situation and use some type of control of that hazard. Fall Protection requirements are necessary when there is a chance for a worker to fall more than 10 feet. (Section 26 of the ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91)
Too bad there is not the same information listed in the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 concerning possible mandatory ‘Working at Heights’ training as there is in the Construction sector. That will not be happening until 2017 or 2018. Only the Construction sector has made ‘Working at Heights’ training mandatory. Mind you, it IS the sector where falls are the leading cause of death in the workplace.
Yes, too bad for the worker and his/her family.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
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.