Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Dustin Greer, a supervisor with Barabco Design/Build Inc., a North York constructor, was fined $8,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused a worker to be injured. He was also fined $4,000 for providing an inspector with false information.
On June 3, 2009, Barabco Design/Build Inc. was the constructor at a project on Meadow Wood Rd. in Mississauga. Dustin Greer was the supervisor at the project when a worker fell from a pitched roof, fracturing an arm. The worker was not wearing any fall protection.
On June 12, 2009, Mr. Greer told a Ministry of Labour inspector that the worker had tripped and fallen from a window opening, which was not the case.
Dustin Greer pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a worker was adequately protected when working from heights. Mr. Greer also pleaded guilty to knowingly furnishing an inspector with false information.
The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Barnes. 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:
Dustin Greer 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 required, a worker shall be adequately protected by at least one of the following methods of fall protection:
1. A travel restraint system that meets the requirements;
2. A fall restricting system that meets the requirements; or
3. A fall arrest system.”
Dustin Greer was also found guilty of a contravention of section 62 (3)(a) of the OHSA which states,
“No person shall knowingly furnish an inspector with false information or neglect or refuse to furnish information required by an inspector,
a) In the exercise of his or her powers or the performance of his or her duties under this Act or the regulations.”
The problem with lying to the MOL is that you will always get found out. The inspector will be interviewing everyone on the site and those appropriate to be interviewed, other than the workers at the scene. This may include suppliers, relatives, other workers and professionals, if necessary.
Mister Greer was foolish to hide such things from the MOL. I was very surprised that his fines were light. Each offense could have reached a maximum of $25,000 and a possible 1 year in jail.
I hope all other employers review this type of concern and do everything in their powers to comply with all sections of the Act and the regulations. The employer in this case could easily been given a fine for violating section 25, (2)(h) of the Act which states,
“The employer should take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.” The company has to ensure that all their management staff complies to improve health and safety in the workplace.”
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’, ‘Construction Safety Awareness’, ‘Due Diligence’ 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.