Blog Post #131 – Drywall Company Fined $50,000 After Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’

Nelmar Drywall Company Limited, of Concord, was fined $50,000 on September 8, 2009, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.

On July 30, 2007, Nelmar was installing drywall at a construction project on Pine Valley Dr. in Vaughan. The company had subcontracted Golden Progress Renovations, of Scarborough, to do some of the work. On this day, a Golden Progress worker was securing drywall from a ladder. The foot of the ladder was on a bakers scaffold and the top was propped against the wall. The ladder was not secured from moving or slipping. The ladder moved and the worker fell to the ground, sustaining rib, pelvis, and shoulder injuries.

Nelmar pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing, as an employer, to ensure the ladder was placed on firm footing.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Grainne Forrest. 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:

Nelmar Drywall company Ltd. was convicted under the ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 78 (2) (d) which states,

“A ladder shall be placed on a firm footing.”

As the kids say today, “Duh”? How easy can it get. Nelmar Drywall allowed an employee to work unsafe. They would have received value in a ‘Fall Protection’ training course which may include ladder safety. $50,000 or $100.00, you be the judge.

The company could have been convicted for other general sections of the ACT such as section 25 and section 27. The supervisor, in this case, needs to put the health and safety of the employee at the top of the chart, not at the bottom which looks to be the place in this case.

The MOL does everything possible to direct the employers to review all sections of the ACT as well as the appropriate regulations, in this case, the ‘Construction regulations, 213/91, and they would have saved themselves a large fine and a tarnished reputation.

If the company does not have the means to have a health and safety Coordinator on staff, then the next best thing is to hire a consulting firm to lead them in the right direction. HRS Group Inc. is one firm that can handle all your health and safety needs. Our on-staff CHSC (certified health and safety consultant) Angela Beal, can direct you to the proper standards applicable to your company’s needs and our rates will pleasantly surprise you. Call Rose at (705) 749-1249 for more details.

We are here to help you.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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