Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’
Reid & Deleye Contractors Ltd. of Courtland was fined $50,000 on November 27, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured. K & S Forming Inc., a London-based concrete forming company, was fined a total of $50,000 in the same incident and one of its supervisors was also fined $4,000 for violations under the OHSA.
On March 21, 2006, a K & S worker climbed onto scaffolding to tighten a section of it. The worker slipped, fell about 1.5 metres to the ground and suffered arm injuries.
After trial, Reid & Deleye Contractors Ltd., K & S Forming Inc. and Daniel C. Demelo, a K & S supervisor, were each found guilty, as a constructor, employer and supervisor respectively, of failing to ensure the scaffold platform was at least 460 millimetres wide. K & S Forming Inc. was also found guilty of failing to provide the worker with information, instruction and supervision to protect the health and safety of that worker.
The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace A. James Child. In addition, 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:
Reid & Deleye Contractors Ltd. and K.S. Forming Inc. were both found guilty of violating section 135 (a) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,
“A scaffold platform or other work platform,
(a) shall be at least 460 mm (18 inches) wide
K.S. Forming was also found guilty of the contravention of section 25, subsection 2(a) of the ACT which states,
“The employer shall provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker.”
One of the basic sections, and most widely enforced section of the OHSA , section 25, subsection 2(a) was violated. Along with section 25, subsection 2(h), I have found that these 2 subsections are currently used more than any others.
What would it have taken to understand for this employer to review the standards in the OHSA relating to the width of a work platform? It seems idiotic in this day and age that two, let alone one, employer did not understand the width requirement and work accordingly. It would have been my first response to contact and scaffold manufacturer or EWP (elevating work platform) manufacturer for all the information needed. A copy of the green book would have helped as well.
K.S. Forming should also understand that the regulation 25, subsection 2 (a) was put there for a specific purpose. The employer MUST provide instruction, information and supervision. Under the competency standards, the employer could have also been convicted for not making their supervisor and workforce competent. This MUST happen as described in section 2(c) of section 25 of the ACT which states,
“The employer, when appointing a supervisor, must appoint a competent person.”
A competent supervisor would never agreed to the improper or illegal construction of a scaffold.
The employer MUST also realize that the section 131 of the ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 was also in contravention, which states,
“Only a competent worker shall supervise the erection, alteration and dismantling of a scaffold.”
TRAINING — this was the step that was missed! If a ‘competent worker’ was instrumental in the erection of the scaffold, and a ‘competent supervisor was watching over a scaffold project, then it never would have been built as the 460 mm base platform (18 inches) was not incorporated into the design, and therefore, would have violated the appropriate regulation, section 135, 1(a) of the construction regulation 213/91.
Pretty simple, huh?
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.