OHS Canada Magazine

Construction company, director fined $117K after worker fatally injured


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May 16, 2024
By OHS Canada

Compliance & Enforcement

A small construction company and its director have been fined $117,500 after pleading guilty to violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in an Ontario court.

The fine comes after a March 2022 incident that fatally injured an employee working on a roof without guardrail protection or appropriate fall protection equipment.

By failing to ensure the worker was protected by means of fall protection, VanHeughten Contractors Inc failed, as an employer, to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed under section 26.1(2) of Regulation 213/91 were carried out in the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The company was fined $85,000.

Kyle VanHeughten failed, as a director of the company, to take all reasonable care to ensure the corporation complied with section 26.1(2) of Regulation 213/91 contrary to Section 32(a) of the Act. He was fined $32,500.

The court also 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.

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What happened?

On March 4, 2022, four workers were installing wooden roof trusses on a construction project in Aylmer, Ont. The trusses were being installed on top of framed walls. No guardrail protection was present, nor were any of the workers wearing any other method of prescribed fall protection equipment, or protective headwear.

One worker was standing on a two-by-four inch wood strapping while nailing wood with a cordless framing nailer. The strapping broke and the worker fell 5.08 meters from the roof and was struck by the nailer, causing fatal injuries.

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