Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Kingdom Construction Limited was fined $105,000 on October 19, 2009, for a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was killed.
On April 22, 2008, Kingdom Construction was building a sewage-pumping station in Halton Hills. At the location there was a wet well, a concrete chamber used to collect sewage until it is pumped to a treatment centre. The top of the wet well was above ground with two openings. When not in use, one opening was covered with plywood. Workers were tidying the top of the wet well when one of the workers fell through that opening and was killed.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the piece of plywood covering the opening was not secured in place or marked to indicate that it covered an opening.
Kingdom Construction Limited pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a protective covering over an opening on a work surface was securely fastened and adequately identified as covering an opening on the work surface.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Lina Mills. 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Kingdom Construction was convicted for the contravention of section 26.3, sub-section 2(2) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“The following precaution shall be used to prevent a worker from falling through an opening on a worker surface:
A protective covering that,
I. Completely covers the opening
II. Is securely fastened
III. Is adequately identified as covering an opening
IV. Is made from material adequate to support all loads to which the covering may be subjected
V. Is capable of supporting a live load of at least 2.4 kilonewtons per square metre without exceeding the allowable unit stresses for the material used.”
I realize this event happened before my blogs came out but I hope Kingdom Construction reads all my Fall Protection posts, including the one written on August 18, 2011. That particular blog includes the information listed about and I welcome all companies to use the material I reported in the ‘Fall Protection’ series and create a ‘Fall Protection’ program. It is important that all companies develop one if their employees work on/off a construction site or where their employees have a chance to fall more than 2.4 metres.
If you are a member of a team for a company that would like to prepare a ‘Fall Protection’ program, please feel free to contact the writer and I will help you to develop the program properly.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.