Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Stelumar Advanced Manufacturing (Milton) Inc., a Milton house assembler, was fined $65,000 on July 20, 2009, for violations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was seriously injured.
On September 24, 2008, a worker was using a crane to lift a finished roof onto a house in Stelumar’s factory. The roof did not fit properly. The crane operator entered the house and climbed a ladder to the second floor to work on the suspended roof. The worker fell about four metres through staircase openings to the factory floor below, was knocked unconscious and suffered injuries to the chest and arm.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that no guardrails were installed around the stairwell openings.
Stelumar Advanced Manufacturing (Milton) Inc. pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing as an employer to ensure guardrails were installed around the stairwell openings.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Barry Quinn. 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Stelumar Advanced Manufacturing (Milton) Inc. was convicted under the Ontario regulation 851/90, section 13, subsection 1(b) which states,
“There shall be a guardrail at an open side of a raised floor, mezzanine, balcony, gallery, landing, platform, walkway, stile, ramp or other surface.”
Since this occurred on a construction project, it is my opinion that the construction regulations 213/91, section 26 could have been used and would have covered everything. Fall protection regulations are more in-depth for the construction regulations since FALLS are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.
The irony is that the roof was built on the ground to eliminate fall hazards for the carpenters putting it together. The entire sub-assembled roof was hoisted into place and the problem occurred anyway.
My heart goes out to the company at this time since they attempted to protect their workers by eliminating an on-site fall hazard but did not see the secondary fall hazard that was still there. At least they attempted to protect their workers.
I hope other companies review this blog and search for all fall hazards on the work site and put in fall prevention solutions like guardrails to better protect their workers. As you can see, it is the LAW!
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 ‘Fall Protection’ and ‘Working at Heights’ . Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259. We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.