From the Archives of the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Woodall Construction Co. Limited and Victoria Steel Corporation were found guilty after trial and fined a total of $150,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice on December 15, 2008, after a worker was injured.
Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman heard that Woodall Construction Co. Limited was working on a project at 1235 St. Luke St. in Windsor, and had contracted Victoria Steel Corporation to install the building’s frame. On October 6, 2004, a Victoria Steel Corporation iron-worker, while fitting a beam into place, asked another worker to loosen the anchor bolt connecting a supporting column to the ground. The loosening of this bolt caused the support column to collapse. The iron-worker fell over 11 meters and suffered broken bones, a collapsed lung, and a dislocated shoulder.
Woodall Construction Co. Limited was fined $75,000 for failing, as a constructor, to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 31(1) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 were carried out. This was contrary to section 23(1)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Victoria Steel Corporation was fined $75,000 for failing, as an employer, to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 31(1) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 were carried out. This was contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
In addition to the fines, the court 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:
Woodall Construction Company and Victoria Steel Corporation were both charged and convicted under section 31(1) of the construction reg. 213/91.
“Every part of a project, including a temporary structure,
a) 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 used; and
b) Shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.”
Woodall was also charged and convicted for a contravention of section 23 (1) of the OHSA.
“A constructor shall ensure, on a project, undertaken by the constructor that
a) The measures and procedures prescribed by this ACT and the regulations are carried out on the project;
b) Every employer and every worker performing work on the project complies with this Act and the regulations; and
c) The health and safety of workers on the project is protected.”
Victoria Steel was charged and convicted under section 25 (1)(c),
“An employer shall ensure that,
c) The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
I can’t help but wonder if the iron-worker was an apprentice or a journeyman. If he was a journeyman, where did he/she receive his/her education? Stress loads are something covered early in the apprenticeship and must be understood when connecting beams to support columns.
Where was the supervisor? Another question for another day.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including Construction regulation safety awareness. 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
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.