Blog Post #154 – City of Orillia Fined $50,000 After Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

The Corporation of the City of Orillia was fined $50,000 on September 29, 2009, for a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.

On April 22, 2008, a lighting and sound technician at the Orillia Opera House was trying to descend from a raised audiovisual booth into a change room by way of a hatchway and ladder. On the way through the hatchway, the worker grabbed a hand-hold on the wall. The hand-hold detached from the wall and the worker fell backwards into the change room about 3.6 metres below.

The Corporation of the City of Orillia pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing to ensure that the hand-hold was securely attached to the wall.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Constance Hartt. In addition to the fine, 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

The Corporation of the City of Orillia was convicted of a single violation of section 25 of the OHSA, sub-section 2(h) which states,

“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstance for the protection of the worker.”

Here we find the generic, and most commonly used section, of the ACT once again. It covers such a wide area that it can be used for almost every instance the MOL needs to use it.

The City of Orillia did not have competent people on their staff to properly install this type of equipment or this accident would not have happened.  If they had cared for the workers, the HR department would have hired a competent person as a H&S coordinator, one with a background in H&S. That person would have to stay current on all legislation and alter the course of the corporation to one where safety in the workplace actually matters.

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’. 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 – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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