Cement manufacturer fined for workplace death

Fritz Construction Services Inc. pleaded guilty after worker crushed by slabs

Cement manufacturer fined for workplace death

Fritz Construction Services Inc. has been fined $110,000 in relation to a workplace death. The precast concrete manufacturer pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by regulation were carried out at a worksite.

The incident happened in January 2020, while a worker was helping in the plant in Chepstow, Ontario. They were operating a trolley system to transport slabs of precast concrete through the building and outside.

“The worker was last seen between two trolley carts that moved on a cable and rail system operated by a hand-held remote control,” reads a press release statement from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

The worker was later found unconscious between concrete slabs being transported by the two carts and nobody witnessed what happened. The worker was rushed to hospital but died from the injuries.

The ministry investigated and found, “the primary cause of the incident was the ability of the carts to make contact, thereby creating a crush hazard.”

The investigation also revealed there were no safeguards in place to protect workers from this hazard, and that the company installed a wire rope clamp on the wagon puller cable, which as inconsistent with the manufacturer’s design. The ministry says this was a “major contributing factor.”

Anytime work is taking place involving multiple heavy objects, crushing hazards can be present, as was the case when a metal worker recently died in a Toronto warehouse.

Crushing hazards can also be present when working around heavy machinery.