Blog Post #977 – Construction Cage Collapses on Workers, Company Fined $50,000

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Anchor Shoring & Caissons Ltd., a company that designs and installs soil retention systems and caisson foundations, pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after two workers were injured when a reinforcing cage collapsed with the workers in it.

The company had been retained to undertake construction of a foundation for a new hydro tower at 88 Niagara Boulevard in Fort Erie and on November 13, 2015, two workers were working inside a cylindrical cage made of reinforcement bars (rebars). Earlier, workers had used a crane to remove the cage from a flatbed truck.

The cage, which was about 25 feet long and 11 feet in diameter, was positioned horizontally on the ground. The workers were standing within the cage, removing some of the internal braces which made up the cage. Once prepared in this way, the cage would be raised by the crane into a vertical position, and then lowered and inserted into one of the 11-foot in diameter caissons. The cage was intended to reinforce pumped concrete.

The two workers had removed a number of the braces and handed them to their supervisor situated outside the cage. At that point, the cage collapsed, trapping the two workers.  As a result of the cage’s collapse, the two workers each suffered minor injuries.

The company was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Kelly Visser in St. Catharines court on March 24, 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:

Anchor Shoring and Caissons Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ sector regulation 213/91, section 31(1)(b) which states,

“Every part of a project, including a temporary structure,

(b) shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.”

Anchor Shoring and Caissons Ltd. was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 66, subsection 1 which states,

Any employer, constructor, licensee, owner, worker or trade union which considers himself, herself or itself aggrieved by any order made by an inspector under this Act or the regulations may appeal to the Board within 30 days after the making of the order.”

And finally, they were also found guilty of a contravention of the 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.”

A completed JHA (job hazard analysis or assessment) would have picked up the concerns and not placed the workers at risk. Since this company was specialized in this field, their working knowledge of the hazards should have been at the top of the expertise. This should never have happened.

I do wonder what type of “Continuous Improvement” application was deemed necessary for any further type setups. It would be interesting to find all this out.

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.


Leave a Comment