OHS Canada Magazine

Fatal fall results in $150,000 fine for Toronto construction firm

Workers were not wearing fall protection equipment


October 16, 2020
By OHS Canada
OHS Canada
Categories
Compliance & Enforcement
Health & Safety

A Toronto restoration company Welldone Inc. was fined $150,000 this month following a 2018 incident that saw a worker die after falling from a roof in Hamilton, Ont.

On Oct. 15, 2018, a worker fell from the roof of a 13-storey residential building at 57 Forest Ave. in Hamilton. The worker was not protected by a guardrail or travel restraint system as required by law.

Balcony restoration work was being performed from a suspended swing stage.

Two workers were on the rooftop at the time of the incident. They were not wearing any fall protection equipment.

Advertisment

The workers were marking measurements to indicate the new location for a beam to support the suspended swing stage. One worker was on hands and knees and held and watched the live end of the measuring tape. The other worker took the zero end of the measuring tape and walked away towards the end of the wing to mark the location of the beam.

The worker on hands and knees saw the measuring device continue beyond the expected distance and yelled for the co-worker to stop.

At that point, the co-worker screamed while falling off the edge of the building and was later pronounced dead at the project by a regional coroner.

Employers must follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulation 213/91, which applies to construction projects, to protect workers on a project. One such requirement is section 26.1(2) which states a worker must be protected from falling when working at a height of more than three metres.

Various fall protection methods can be used to protect a worker including, for example, a guardrail or a travel restraint system that prevents a worker from reaching the edge of a surface.

The defendant failed to ensure a worker was protected by a means of fall protection outlined is section 26.1(2) and thereby violated section 25(1)c of the OHSA.