Blog Post #969 – Grimsby Builder Convicted After Construction Project Collapses

Excerpt from the government of Ontario

A construction project that collapsed due to wind load and a lack of bracing and proper anchoring has led to a $20,000 fine against the individual in charge of the project.

A storage barn was being built on a residential farm property located at 3357 Regional Road 12, West Lincoln, Ontario. On November 24, 2014, the partially-built, wood-framed storage barn collapsed.

The property owner had hired Tom Ivezic to undertake the construction of the storage barn, which was about 120 feet long and 60 feet wide.

At the time of the collapse, the four walls and the roof of the storage barn had been erected on top of the structure’s concrete foundation.  However, none of the walls had been braced to prevent their movement or collapse, and the anchor bolts connecting the walls to the foundation had not been secured.

The constructor, Tom Ivezic, failed to meet a number of requirements. He failed to file a Notice of Project relating to the construction of the storage barn, and failed, as a constructor, to give notice in writing to a Ministry of Labour inspector within two days of the structural failure of the storage barn, as required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Following the collapse of the barn, Ivezic failed to furnish all necessary assistance to facilitate an investigation by a Ministry of Labour inspector; over the course of several months, the Ministry of Labour inspector made multiple attempts to contact Ivezic, and left him multiple messages but received no response.

The court, with Justice of the Peace Dan La Caprara presiding, fined Ivezic a total of $20,000 in Welland on February 9, 2017.

The court also 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Tom Ivezic was found guilty of a contravention of the following sections of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA):

Section 23, subsection 2 which states,

Notice of project

(2) “Where so prescribed, a constructor shall, before commencing any work on a project, give to a Director notice in writing of the project containing such information as may be prescribed.”

Section 31, subsection 1(b) which states,

Duties of suppliers

(1) “Every person who supplies any machine, device, tool or equipment under any rental, leasing or similar arrangement for use in or about a workplace shall ensure,

 (b) that the machine, device, tool or equipment complies with this Act and the regulations.”

Section 53, subsection (b) which states,

Accident, etc., at project site or mine

(1) “If an accident, premature or unexpected explosion, fire, flood or inrush of water, failure of any equipment, machine, device, article or thing, cave-in, subsidence, rockburst, or other prescribed incident occurs at a project site, mine, mining plant or other prescribed location, the person determined under subsection (2) shall, within two days after the occurrence, give notice in writing with the prescribed information and particulars,

 (b) to a Director, unless a report under section 51 or a notice under section 52 has already been given to a Director.”

And finally,

Section 62, subsection 2(a) which states,

Assistance to an Inspector

(2) “Every person shall furnish all necessary means in the person’s power to facilitate any entry, search, inspection, investigation, examination, testing or inquiry by an inspector,

 (b) in the execution of a warrant issued under this Act or the Provincial Offences Act with respect to a matter under this Act or the regulations.”

Tom Ivezic had to have been fully aware of the responsibility for him to report an incident/accident to the Ministry of Labour (MOL)

Tom Ivezic should have also known that one cannot ignore the MOL and impede an investigation. All persons involved MUST give the MOL all necessary aid in the investigation no matter where it leads.

That is the law!

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 ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Construction Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. 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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