Post #366 – Spencer Steel Limited Fined $55,000 after Workers Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Spencer Steel Limited, an Ilderton construction company that designs and installs steel products, was fined $55,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after two workers were injured.

On May 26, 2010, workers were erecting a steel structure on Wonderland Rd. S. in London. Two workers were standing on steel beams when the beams collapsed. Both fell about five meters to the ground and sustained minor injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the steel beams were not adequately braced to prevent their collapse.

Spencer Steel Limited pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the beams were adequately braced to prevent any movement that would affect their stability or cause collapse.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen. 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:

Spencer Steel Ltd. was found guilty of violating section 31 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation, section 31, which states,

“Every part of a project, including a temporary structure,

a) Shall be designed and constructed to support or resist all loads and forces to which it is likely to be subjected to without exceeding the allowable unit stress for each material used,
b) Shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.”

What a world we live in. Here we find Spencer Steel Ltd. not only builds the structures but also designs them as well. Where is the engineer in this matter? Was the steel structure built in accordance to the designs set out by the engineer? Were they not following their own safe work practices before the onset of the construction? All questions are valid and needed to be addressed prior to the assembly.

I hope Spencer Steel Ltd. is NOW fully aware of their responsibilities and they need to consider their role in the health and safety of the workforce.

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’, ‘Construction Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. 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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