Blog Post #77 – United Hoist Equipment Ltd. Fined $65,000 After Worker Critically Injured

Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’

United Hoist Equipment Ltd., a Bolton company that sells, services and rents personnel hoists, was fined $65,000 on May 14, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), after a worker was critically injured.

On December 7, 2007, a 31.1 metre (102 foot) high hoist on the south exterior side of a seven storey building at 12 Burkebrook Place in Toronto was being dismantled by workers for United Hoist Equipment Ltd. Workers had removed a number of sections of the hoist with a crane and had lowered the hoist cage to the fourth level of the building. A worker on top of the cage to remove tie-ins which secured the hoist to the building removed the last tie-in and the hoist toppled, throwing the worker approximately 9.15 metres (30 feet) to the ground. The worker suffered serious injury, including internal injuries and injuries to the spine, pelvis, head and face.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the base of the hoist had been improperly installed, including inadequate spacing of anchor bolts, unsuitable bolts, and the installation of a replacement part for the foundation frame that did not have the same safety factor as the part being replaced.

United Hoist Equipment Ltd. pleaded guilty under the OHSA of failing to ensure that the replacement part for the foundation frame had at least the same safety factor as the part it was replacing.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace M. Ross Hendriks. In addition to the fine, the court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, 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:

United Hoist Equipment Ltd. was guilty of  of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 95 (1) which states,

“Every replacement part for a vehicle, machine, tool or equipment shall have at least the same safety factor as the part it is replacing.”

It is unfortunate that a company like United Hoist Equipment Ltd. did not think it appropriate to have a professional engineer on-site to review and sign off on the support bolts and plates for the hoist base. This one part of the installation process would have saved their employee from what looks to be long rehabilitation and much suffering.

How can one factor that!

United Hoist Equipment Ltd. was also in violation of section 25, 1(c) of the ACT.

“An employer shall ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

Again, United Hoist Equipment Ltd. should make it their responsibility to review all aspects of their work and ensure that it complies with the ACT and the sector specific regulations, in this case, the Construction regulations 213/91.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including Construction Health and Safety Law . Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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