Blog Post #976 – Worker Hurt by Culvert

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

An Ontario company that manufactures precast concrete products for the construction industry was fined $75,000 on October 25, 2018 over an injury.

According to Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MOL), the incident occurred on August 2, 2017 when two employees of Coldstream Concrete Limited were working in a heavy precast yard, moving three-cited concrete culverts from a trailer bed onto the ground by using a gantry straddle crane and spreader beam. One worker operated the crane from the cab, while the other worker was on the ground, rigging culverts to the crane.

The crane operator moved a 23,000 kg culvert from the trailer and set it down on the ground. As the co-worker needed to remove a metal date plate attached to the culverts bottom, the crane operator raised the culvert so that the co-worker can reach underneath to chisel the date plate away.

In the process of doing so, the worker heard a cracking noise and was knocked to the ground by the culvert, sustaining a permanent injury. An examination of the crane show that a pin in the roller chain link connecting the crane’s voice transmission drive socket to the hoist drum socket assembly had failed, causing the hoist drum to rotate freely. The part of the culvert, which had been supported by one end of the crane, fell to the ground.

Coldstream pleaded guilty to failing to ensure a machine or material that is temporary elevated is securely blocked prevented from falling or moving.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Coldstream Concrete Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 section 74 which states,

“Machinery, equipment or material that is temporarily elevated and under which a worker may pass or work shall be securely and solidly blocked to prevent the machinery, equipment or material from falling or moving.”

Coldstream Concrete Ltd. was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

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

It is too bad there was a hazard analysis prior to the removal of the culvert. The slings had to be checked, and, it sounds like the crane’s proper maintenance schedule was either neglected or the defect was not found during the process. Either way,  one worker was permanently injured for no reason.

Depending on the age of the worker, there may be many years of pain and misery for the worker because of a simple defective pin.

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’, ‘Material Handling Safety Awareness’, Overhead Crane Certification’ 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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