Blog Post #780 – GRC Contracting Inc. Fined $90,000 In Death of Worker

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

GRC Contracting Inc., carrying on business as GRC Contracting of Hawkestone, has pleaded guilty and has been fined $90,000 for the death of a worker who fell through a roof.

The company was contracted to perform work on the roof of a mill building which is part of a graphite mine near Kearney being refurbished to re-start mining operations. Workers were employed by GRC Contracting to remove turbine ventilation and apply insulation and sheathing to cover the holes from the turbines.

On June 21, 2013, two turbines had been removed from the roof and insulation had been applied to the open holes. The holes were not surrounded by a guardrail nor were they at the time covered. The crew was in the process of moving metal sheathing to cover the holes. Before that was done, one of the workers stepped onto and through the insulation on one of the holes and fell 42 feet to the floor of the building. The worker was killed by the resulting massive trauma.

The worker was wearing a fall arrest body harness but was not attached to any system of fall arrest or travel restraint, nor were the other workers at the time.

As well, roofing materials had been piled at the edge of the north side and within 3-1/2 feet of the east edge of the roof, contrary to the law. The roof was not surrounded by a guard rail; this created an additional fall hazard for workers retrieving the materials for application to the roof.

Three days prior to the incident, GRC had been warned by the constructor about ensuring fall arrest was worn by workers after three GRC workers had been observed by an employee of the constructor working on the roof without fall protection.

Section 26.1(2) of Ontario’s Construction Projects Regulation states that workers shall be adequately protected by a guardrail system. If it is not reasonably possible to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, workers shall be adequately protected by a travel restraint system, a fall restricting system, a fall arrest system or a safety net.

In addition to the fine, the court imposed 25-per-cent victim fine surcharges as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

GRC Contracting was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ Regulation 213/91, section 26.1(2) which states,

“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, that meets the requirements of section 26.6.
  4. A safety net that meets the requirements of section 26.8.”

GRS Contracting was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25(1)(c) which states,

““An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

The constructor should have walked the guys off the site to get the message through. It seems that the people in charge did not take the safety of their workers seriously and a worker was killed.

I hear this so often and no one does anything to improve the safety of a job site until an accident occurs. Here I believe the constructor should have borne responsibility and had a ‘trained’ site supervisor complete on-site discipline to GRC Contracting so that this death could or would have been avoided.

I wonder if the GRC Contracting is even in business now? I bet they feel unlucky that an accident occurred. Rubbish!

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.

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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