Employer charged $60,000 for Occupational Health and Safety Act violation
Ontario employer 2341134 ThermoEnergy Structures Inc. has been fined $60,000 after one of its workers suffered critical injuries from a workplace incident.
The incident took place on Aug. 7, 2019, when a contractor employed by ThermoEnergy Structures was assisting in the assembly and erection of an industrial type/style barn. This involved working from the bucket of a bucket truck.
While assisting in the erection and assembly operations from the interior of the structure under construction, the worker fell from the bucket to the ground, sustaining critical injuries.
The worker was taken to a nearby hospital where they were admitted to the ICU. On August 21, 2019, the worker was pronounced dead from complications resulting from their injuries. A Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development investigation found that the worker was not wearing fall protection at the time of the incident.
“Accordingly, the constructor failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by s. 148(1)(e) were carried out at the project, contrary to s. 23(1)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O 1990, c.O.1 as amended,” according to the Ontario government.
In January 2021, WorkSafeBC released a new guidebook to help employers prevent slips, trips and falls in the workplace.
“Each year, 11,000 British Columbians are injured by slips, trips, and falls in their workplaces. These incidents can have a tremendous impact on the injured workers as well as their families and co-workers,” said WorkSafeBC in the guidebook. “Injuries from falls can include sprains, bruises, concussions, fractures, and even burns and cuts. Pain and suffering, disability, stress, and even a loss or change of employment can result.”
And it is essential for organizations who engage in these types of activities to understand the importance and intricacies of fall protection PPE and training, according to a previous COS report.
“According to regulatory provisions set forward by government agencies that are responsible for worker health and safety, fall protection is something that is a requirement to be provided by employers when they have their employees working at heights, where there is a possibility of falling to a different level,” Michel Goulet, professional division sales manager, Petzl America, previously said in talking with COS.
“Fall protection is not complete without a proper rescue plan,” added Goulet. “It’s not enough to train, you also have to train your groups to rescue.”
Previously, Gardiner Plumbing Ltd., 0568677 British Columbia Ltd., Kalan Constructions Ltd., Rainbow Siding Ltd. and Global Gutters Ltd. were also all charged for fall protection violations.