Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Bondfield Construction Company Limited and BMC Masonry (2032686 Ontario Limited), both of Concord, yesterday were fined $75,000 and $50,000 respectively for violations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.
On November 29, 2007, an electrician subcontracted by BMC received chest and pelvis injuries after being pinned under a wall that collapsed at a construction project at 90 Greenwood Rd., Stouffville. The electrician was walking next to the concrete block wall when a strong wind suddenly blew it over.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that a BMC employee had removed the wall’s temporary bracing earlier that day.
Constructor Bondfield Construction Company Limited and employer BMC Masonry pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the wall was designed and constructed to resist the wind and adequately braced to prevent it from collapsing.
The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Tina Rotondi-Molinari. In addition to the fines, 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:
Bondfield Construction Company Limited was found guilty of a contravention of section 31 (1) of Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“Every part of a project, including a temporary structure, shall be designed and constructed to support or resist all loads and forces to which it is likely to be subjected without exceeding the allowable unit stress for each material used, and shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.”
This seems simple doesn’t it? Building a structure and then removing the temporary bracing long before the supporting walls were built and attached. How stupid can one get? The design was not adequate and the removal of the bracing goes far beyond stupid. A worker, once again, gets hurt due to the idiotic actions of an employer.
The construction sector is one of the most complex sectors with the largest regulation (213/91) there is. The mining sector is not too far behind but the construction sector has been worked on and worked on to add more and more sections to cover most scenarios that can be imagined. It is funny how this type of incident was figured out before and the section added.
I do hope Bondfield completes a permanent corrective action plan that would be acceptable to the MOL so that future events like this one will not happen. One can only hope!
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need including ‘Construction Safety Awareness’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer