OHS Canada Magazine

Construction firm fined nearly $140K after worker fatally crushed between slabs of concrete


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May 8, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Concrete Construction Fines ontario Worker Fatality

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A construction company in Ontario has been fined nearly $140,000 after a worker was killed while moving concrete slabs.

The incident happened on Jan. 6, 2020, at Fritz Construction Services Inc.’s precast plant in Chepstow, Ont.

On the day of the incident, a worker was assisting in the plant, operating a trolley system used to transport slabs of precast concrete through the building to outside the facility. The worker was last seen between two trolley carts that moved on a cable and rail system operated by a hand-held remote control.

The worker was later found unconscious between concrete slabs being transported by the two carts. There were no witnesses to the incident.

The worker was taken to hospital, but later succumbed to injuries suffered.

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A Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development investigation found that the primary cause of the incident was the ability of the carts to make contact, thereby creating a crush hazard.

The investigation also found no safeguards in place to protect workers from this hazard. A major contributing factor was the Company‚Äôs installation of a wire rope clamp on the wagon puller cable which was inconsistent with the manufacturer’s design.

Accordingly, the Company failed as an employer to ensure that the provisions of section 45 (a) of Ontario Regulation 851/90 were complied with contrary to section 25 (1) (c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Following a guilty plea, the company was fined $110,000. The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, bringing the total to $137,500. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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