Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
JGB Developments Inc., carrying on business as JGB Roofing, of St. Catharines, was fined $30,000 on September 17 for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
On November 7, 2008, three workers were repairing a residential roof on Oromond St. S. in Thorold. A Ministry of Labour inspector visited the project in response to a complaint. After investigation, the inspector found that the workers were not wearing proper fall protection or head protection. Also, a ladder to the roof did not extend far enough past the roof’s surface and it had a damaged rung. Furthermore, a wooden plank being used as a work platform had a crack along its length and it overhung its support too much at one end.
JGB Developments Inc. was found guilty after trial to failing to ensure that:
– workers were adequately protected by fall protection
– workers were wearing the personal protective equipment necessary to protect them from possible hazards
– the ladder extended at least 900 millimeters past the roof’s surface
– the ladder was free from defective or loose rungs
– the wooden plank used as a work platform was free of any defects and it did not overhang its support by more than 300 millimeters
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Dan La Caprara. 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
JGB Developments Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 26.1(2) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“If it is not reasonably possible to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, a worker shall be protected by at least one of the following methods of fall protection:
1) a travel restraint system that meets the requirement of section 26.4;
2) a fall restricting system that meets the requirements of section 26.5; or
3) a fall arrest system, other than a fall restricting system designed for use in wood pole climbing, that meets the requirements of section 26.6.
JGB Developments Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of section 21(1) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“A worker shall wear such protective clothing and use such personal protective equipment or devices as are necessary to protect the worker against the hazards to which the worker may be exposed.”
JGB Developments Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 80 (a) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“A ladder shall extend at the upper level at least 900 mm (36”) above the landing or floor.”
JGB Developments Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 78, 2(a) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“A ladder shall be free from defective or loose rungs.”
JGB Developments Inc. was found guilty of violating section 135(2) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“A scaffold platform or other work platform made of sawn lumber planks shall have planks of number 1 grade spruce that do not have any defects affecting their load-carrying capacity, and
a) that bear a legible grade identification stamp or are permanently identified as being number 1 grade spruce;
b) that are at least forty-eight mm thick by 248 mm wide (2”x 10”)
c) that are arranged so that their span does not exceed 2.1 metres (82.7 inches or 2.3 yards)
d) that overhang their supports by not less than 150 mm (6”) and not more than 300 mm (12”) ; and
e) that are cleated or otherwise secured against slipping.
Do you know how many people have been trained in proper scaffold construction methods? Section 131 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 states,
“Only a competent worker shall supervise the erection, alteration and dismantling of a scaffold.”
As a trainer in health and safety, I do ask my students, especially during ‘Fall Protection’ classes, if they have ever been on a scaffold and then I ask if they have ever received training to erect one. Do you know how many have stated YES? NONE!!! I was wondering how many have been asked at a construction site, by a MOL inspector, to show credentials to be able to build a scaffold. Ensure that you, as an employer, and your people, have completely read section’s 125 to 142 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 and take an instruction class to assure competency. BE PREPARED!
I would also suggest that one take a class in ‘Fall Protection’ to cover all the bases. The MOL is vigilant about protecting workers against falls in the workplace so ‘Fall Protection’ training, along with a regular refresher is necessary.
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 ‘Fall Protection’ and Working at Heights’. 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
HRS Group Inc.