Excerpts From the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

AGF Raymond Rebar Inc., an Ottawa construction company, was fined $110,000 on March 29 for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On July 23, 2008, workers were at a tower construction project on Kent St. in Ottawa. They were preparing to hoist two structures made of reinforcing bar, or rebar, with a crane. The rebar structures were sitting one on top of the other. The workers attached the bottom rebar structure to the crane but did not secure the top structure. As the crane lifted both structures, the load shifted and the unsecured structure fell on a worker. The worker suffered multiple fractures and damage to internal organs.

AGF Raymond Rebar Inc. was found guilty of failing to ensure that the crane’s rigging was arranged to prevent the top rebar structure from slipping or falling. The company was fined $80,000 for this offense.

AGF Raymond Rebar Inc. was also found guilty of failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker on preventing a hoisted object from slipping or falling. The company was fined $30,000 for this offense.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace John A. Balkwill. 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:

AGF Raymond Rebar was in contravention of the Ontario Regulations 213/91 (Construction) section 172,(1)(c)

“A container, sling or similar device for rigging or hoisting an object, including its fittings and attachments shall be so arranged as to prevent the object or any part of the object from slipping or falling.”

They were also charged and convicted on Section 25, subsection 2(a),

“The employer shall provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker.”

Proper training might have changed the course for the safety of this employee. Crane training covers a planned lift and the proper use and maintenance of slings.

Slings come in all types and sizes. There are web slings, chain slings and rope slings. These three include 90% of all slings.

The practical component of any crane training covers the planned lift. The crane operator patiently calculates the combined weight of the lift and locates the centre of gravity and safely applies the slings, making sure that shock loading is not an issue. The object is hoisted up slowly, with a signalman controlling speed, direction and height. It would be here the signalman recognizes a shift in the sling and aborts the lift. No one actually noticed anything and the planned lift failed. The operator could easily have been charged as not living up to the competency standards as required for most training. How could one miss an upper section not secured!

I also wonder where the supervisor was during the lift. Helping someone else?

Hmm…

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including construction lifting and rigging. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

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