OHS Canada Magazine

Quebec company fined $125,000 after worker falls into pit on Ottawa construction site

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February 23, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Construction Fines ottawa Quebec

The construction site at 929 Richmond Rd. in Ottawa where the worker was injured. Photo: Google Streetview

EBC Inc., a Quebec-based company, has been fined $125,000 by an Ontario court after a worker fell into a pit on a construction site in Ottawa.

The incident occurred at a construction site where a concrete cistern had been built. The cistern measured 30-inches in diameter and six meters deep.

When formwork for the cistern was removed, workers were exposed to a potential fall hazard. A piece of plywood about 38 inches square was placed over the opening.

After further work was done, a worker cleaning the area picked up the plywood cover on the ground. The plywood did not have visible markings identifying it as a cover to the cistern.

The worker walked forward into the opening, fell to the bottom of the cistern, and sustained a critical injury.


A coworker who saw the incident called emergency services and a confined space rope rescue was performed.

The plywood covering the opening to the cistern was not adequately secured in place, nor was it adequately identified. The Company thereby violated section 23(1) a of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Following a guilty plea, EBC Inc. 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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