Ontario supervisor fined for worker fatality

Worker suffers 'crushing injuries' after being stuck between overhead beam, elevating platform's guardrails

Ontario supervisor fined for worker fatality

A supervisor at an Ontario company has been told to pay a five-figure sum following the death of a worker.

Yuqin Liu, supervisor at L.Z. Refrigeration Inc., was fined $20,000 following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Toronto, Yuqin Liu. The supervisor must also pay a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, to be credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

The penalty stems from a March 13, 2020, incident. At the time of the incident, L.Z. Refrigeration Inc. was hired as a subcontractor to install refrigeration panels for a walk-in, cold storage room at the workplace. Yuqin Liu was a director and a supervisor of L.Z. Refrigeration Inc.

On that day, at approximately 1pm, the worker was by himself operating an EWP.

At some point, the worker activated the Elevating Work Platform (EWP) joystick for controlling elevation. The platform elevated and as the EWP continued to rise, the worker became trapped between an overhead beam used to support electrical wires and the elevating platform's guardrail near the control box.

The worker suffered “crushing injuries", according to the Ontario government.

The worker was unable to free himself and succumbed to his injuries from that incident.

“Yuqin Liu failed as a supervisor to ensure that the worker operated the EWP as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act,” according to the government.

Specifically, they failed to ensure the worker was provided with oral and written instructions or training on the operation of an EWP which includes instructions with respect to the owner’s manual. This is an offence under s. 27(1)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and in particular, s. 147(1) of Regulation 213/91.

Recently, Triple J Aggregates Limited, a Newfoundland company, is facing charges related to an employee who died in a quarry near St. John’s in September 2020.

Ontario employer Domm Construction Ltd. was also fined $75,000 after one of its workers was critically injured while performing duties at a construction site in Ayton.

Meanwhile, Orin Contracting Services Inc., another Ontario employer, was fined $125,000 after pleading guilty to workplace safety rules violations in the Ontario Court of Justice.