An Alberta provincial court judge levied fines against two companies responsible for the death of a Calgary toddler crushed by falling building materials, but the decision raises serious questions about apprenticeships and safety procedures. (June, 2011)
An Alberta provincial court judge levied fines against two companies responsible for the death of a toddler, who was crushed by falling building materials, but the decision raises serious questions about apprenticeships and safety procedures.
“I think there is no amount of money that will appease someone who has lost a three-year-old child,” said Calgary Construction Association executive vice-president Dave Smith.
“It’s a no win situation in terms of the judges decision.”
Provincial Court Judge Gerry Meagher levied the maximum $15,000 fine against Flynn Canada and Germain Residences for violating the Alberta Safety Code Act, after the death of Michelle Krsek in 2009. The companies will also pay a $2,250 surcharge.
A charge against a third company, Grenville Germain Calgary Ltd., was withdrawn.
All three companies had previously pleaded not guilty to one count each of allowing an unsafe condition.
An intense wind storm on Aug. 1, caused an individual piece of metal roofing material and a 500 lb bundle of five sheets to fall from the Le Germain building in downtown Calgary.
Court documents revealed Flynn didn’t properly secure the building materials to the roof of the Le Germain project when they left the site July 27.
“The inquiry found that of the seven one-inch screws used to secure the 500 pound plus pile of sheet metal, only four penetrated the roof surface,” said Gaven Howe, president and CEO of Howe Brand Communications.
“So, someone was using screws too short, was in a hurry, or did not have the training to think through what might go wrong, including the death of a toddler – under what scenarios could these sheets become deadly missiles?”
The metal roofing material fell 22 storeys and hit a group of people on the sidewalk across the street on 9th Avenue.
Krsek was killed instantly as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. Miroslav, her father, was knocked unconscious and critically injured, while her seven-year-old brother, Eric, was badly injured.
Disgusting, just disgusting! $35,000 in fines for the negligent death of a little child. Disgusting!
As I have been saying all along, Alberta may understand health and safety but does not enforce the legislation it has in place.
Please read many of the blog posts on this site to see the full impact of how the province of Alberta lacks the intestinal fortitude to protect its workforce.
Remember – Alberta Health and Safety – An Oxymoron!
Remember – In Canada, “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.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.