OHS Canada Magazine

Siding contractor in Ottawa fined $75,000 after worker slipped on ice, fell off platform

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March 6, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Fines Ice working at heights

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An exterior siding contractor in Ottawa has been fined $75,000 after a worker was seriously injured after slipping on ice and falling from an elevated platform.

Spartan Weatherguard Exteriors was an employer on a residential development project and subcontracted exterior wall work to another company.

On Dec. 20, 2019, a worker employed by the subcontracted company was working from an elevated work platform, called a pump jack, installing soffit and exterior siding to the wall of a home.

Ice had accumulated on the platform throughout the day. The worker slipped on the ice, fell and rolled toward the wall of the home, and fell about 4.9 metres through the gap between the platform and the wall, sustaining serious injuries.

Section 72(b) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 prescribes that a scaffold platform on which work is being performed shall be maintained at all times in a condition that does not endanger workers and shall be kept clear of snow, ice or other slippery material.


Section 93(3) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 prescribes that all equipment on a project must be used in accordance with any operating manuals issued by the manufacturers.

The manufacturer’s manual for the pump jack states that the gap between the platform and the wall shall not be more than 12 inches and that fall protection is required at all times while using the pump jack.

Spartan Weatherguard Exteriors violated section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act by failing, as an employer, to ensure the pump jack was free of ice, that the gap between the pump jack platform and the wall was less than 12 inches and that fall protection was worn by the worker at all times while using the pump jack, as required by section 72(b) and section 93(3) of Ontario Regulation 213/91: Construction Projects.

Following an ex parte trial in the Provincial Offences Court in Ottawa, Spartan Weatherguard Exteriors was fined $75,000 for three offences ($25,000 per count). 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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