Excerpts from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’

Bondfield Construction Company Limited and BMC Masonry (2032686 Ontario Limited), both of Concord, yesterday were fined $75,000 and $50,000 respectively for violations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured.

On November 29, 2007, an electrician subcontracted by BMC received chest and pelvis injuries after being pinned under a wall that collapsed at a construction project at 90 Greenwood Rd., Stouffville. The electrician was walking next to the concrete block wall when a strong wind suddenly blew it over.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that a BMC employee had removed the wall’s temporary bracing earlier that day.

Constructor Bondfield Construction Company Limited and employer BMC Masonry pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the wall was designed and constructed to resist the wind and adequately braced to prevent it from collapsing.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Tina Rotondi-Molinari. 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.

My opinion

The Law(s) in contravention:

Both employers were in contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91, section 31(1) which states,

“Every part of a project, including a temporary structure shall be designed and constructed to support or resist all loads and forces to which it is likely to be subjected without exceeding the allowable unit stress for each material and shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.”

Here we find two companies, one the main constructor, and the other, the sub contractor, not ensuring that the standards are being adhered to. For BMC Masonry, it was a severe broach of safety to remove the temporary bracing. The employee had propbably completed this task on other occasions and was not aware of the possible dangers. BMC Masonry or their employee was not ‘Competent’ under the ACT.

Bondfield Construction Company was in violation of hiring a sub-contractor without proper training and general knowledge of responsibilities under the ACT.

There is no place for companies to be in the Ontario workplace and not understanding their responsibilities under the ACT. The better prepared a company is for the health and safety of its employees the safer the workplace will be. The MOL is driving towards that goal. It will take a while but I have no doubt that we shall get there.

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. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

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