OHS Canada Magazine

Contractor fined $125K after worked killed on Toronto construction site


July 26, 2022
By OHS Canada

Compliance & Enforcement Construction fine Fines ontario

An Ontario contractor has been fined $125,000 after a worker was killed on the job.

In early 2020, Roni Excavation and one of its subsidiaries, Orin Contracting Services, were contracted to conduct excavation and backfilling at a construction site for five residential condominium towers at 5799 Yonge St. in Toronto.

On Feb. 28, 2020, a worker and his supervisor went to the site to prepare an excavator for movement to another construction site. In order for the excavator to be moved, it was necessary to remove its bucket, boom, and counterweight to reduce the overall weight of the machine.

The employer was provided with a Manufacturer’s Operation and Maintenance Manual, which outlined the procedure for safe removal of the counterweight to prevent injury or death.

The specified procedure involves engaging the hydraulic system of the excavator, but the work crew did not use the manufacturer’s specified procedure. Instead, they backed a truck up to the counterweight to use as a work platform and began removing the mounting bolts.

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After three of the six mounting bolts for the counterweight were removed, the supervisor climbed onto the excavator to remove a camera and lights from the machine to prevent damage. The worker continued removing bolts, and when loosening the sixth bolt, the thirteen-ton counterweight fell onto him causing fatal injuries.

Following a guilty plea, Orin Contracting Services was fined $125,000. 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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