Maison Canada Holdings fined $120,000 after young worker killed working at heights

Maison Canada Holdings pleaded guilty and has been fined $120,000 following the death of a young worker on a high-rise student housing project in Waterloo, Ont. 
This is the second construction firm to face charges. Another company was fined $90,000 in March.

On Oct. 11, 2013, the worker was on the job site along with others at 185 King Street North in Waterloo, Ont. Maison Canada Holdings was the constructor of the project.

The young worker was working on the 12th storey of the building, assisting in the delivery of concrete blocks to the roof. A tower crane had lifted a skid of concrete blocks to the roof and placed the skid onto wood planking. The way it was placed caused the skid to rest on an angle, creating a potential hazard (the blocks weighed about 3,500 pounds). The workers on the roof decided that the skid of blocks should be re-landed flat onto the roof; the load was re-strapped and lifted up and out. The load then suddenly propelled toward an exterior parapet wall that surrounded the roof top.

The young worker was situated between the parapet wall and the skid of blocks; the worker hung on to the skid of blocks, which proceeded to trolley out, and crashed through the exterior parapet wall, knocking the worker from the roof top. The young worker fell four storeys to a mast climber (a type of powered scaffold that lifts and lowers); the fall was about 13.2 metres.

The young worker was trained in fall protection but was not using any form of fall protection at the time of the incident. The parapet wall was 23-1/2 inches high and did not constitute a guardrail. The worker sustained head and leg injuries and later died as a result of the fall.
Maison Canada Holdings pleaded guilty to failing to store and move material or equipment in a manner that does not endanger a worker as required under the Construction Projects Regulation, and thereby violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The company was fined $120,000 on June 12, 2015.

Maison Canada Holdings was one of two companies charged in the worker's death. Central Construction of Granton, Ont., pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that a fall restricting system is used where a guardrail system is not reasonably possible, and was fined $90,000 on March 20, 2015.

In addition to the fine, the court 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.