Ontario worker fined, sentenced for death of pedestrian

Warning signals did not sufficiently alert the pedestrian of the approaching truck

Ontario worker fined, sentenced for death of pedestrian
The employee was fined $8,000 and put on probation.

One construction employee was fined $8,000 and was sentenced to a year of probation after he struck and killed a pedestrian.

The incident took place on July 11, 2019, when the defendant, Peter Bransfield, was driving a pick-up truck in reverse on a construction project and he struck the pedestrian, causing the victim’s death.

Bransfield’s assigned task that day was to supply and transport equipment and materials on the construction project.

Bransfield had been working at the project when he drove the one-ton truck to the intersection of Garden Avenue and Yonge Street to see if his co-workers required any help. The truck was equipped with a dump box on the back that largely obstructed the driver's view within the rear-view mirror.

Bransfield parked in the closed lane facing south on Yonge Street, just to the west of the temporary sidewalk. He spoke to the other workers who told him that they had removed all of the signage and equipment and were finished with work and ready to leave. There was one sign north of the intersection on Yonge Street and Bransfield offered to remove it.

Bransfield did a circle check around the truck, looked northward and did not see anyone walking on or near the road. There was space to drive the truck forward to turn around; instead, Bransfield reversed the truck in a northbound direction on Yonge Street at about 15 km per hour in the closed lane.

The truck is equipped with an audible back up alarm and flashing lights on top and it was backed up approximately 100 metres. The evidence does not indicate where the pedestrian entered the construction zone, but at some point did.

For reasons unknown, the warning signals on the truck did not sufficiently alert the pedestrian to the approaching truck in the closed construction project. Bransfield used the side-view mirrors of the truck to ensure no one was behind him, but did not see the pedestrian, and did not believe any pedestrian would be in the closed construction zone while reversing the truck. But the truck struck the pedestrian.

The defendant failed as a worker to work in compliance with section 104(2) of Ontario Regulation 213/91, which states that “vehicles, machines and equipment at a project shall not be operated in reverse unless there is no practical alternative to doing so.” Section 28(1)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act also applies, which states “a worker shall work in compliance with the provisions of this act and [its] regulations.”

Previously, an Ontario court also fined a worker for causing injury to another individual who later required surgery. Also, Mississauga, Ont.-based Cyclone Manufacturing Incorporated was fined $60,000 after one worker was injured and required surgery from being pinned by a wing of an aircraft.