Blog Post #196 – S&R Mechanical Fined $125,000 after Worker Killed

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

S & R Mechanical, a division of Cumberland-based 681291 Ontario Inc., was fined $125,000 yesterday for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was killed at a construction project in Ottawa.

On September 8, 2008, a worker suffered fatal head and chest injuries after being struck by a 181-kilogram pipe during a hoisting operation. The worker was on a ladder guiding the pipe into an overhead rack when the hoist’s anchor snapped, causing the pipe and hoist to fall.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the anchor system was not properly installed.

S & R Mechanical pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the hoist was arranged to prevent the pipe from slipping or falling.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Herb Kreling. 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:

S&R Mechanical was found guilty of violating section 172, 1(c) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“A container, sling or similar device for rigging or hoisting an object including its fittings and attachments, shall be so arranged as to prevent the object or any part of the object from slipping or falling.”

The construction regulations have quite a bit of information for hoisting and rigging. I would wonder if the employer actually reviewed these prior to placing the employee in danger. I wager the company did not even consider the issue a problem and therefore, did not put any safeguard in place prior to the actual lift. I wonder when the last inspection on the anchor was completed.

If S&R Mechanical reviewed the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, from section 168 to section 180, and understood them, would probably have saved the life of the employee as well as the company’s reputation.

As an addendum, I want to let the readership know that the next posting will be the 200th for me so far. I have researched to provide the information on a company that not once, not twice but three times over an 18 month period, failed to ensure the safety of their workers. I guess it was easier to pay the fines.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need including ‘Construction Lifting and Rigging’. 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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