Worker death results in $187K fine for construction firm

Worker died after falling from the roof of a building

Worker death results in $187K fine for construction firm
The incident occurred on October 15, 2018.

Welldone, Inc., a Toronto construction firm which specializes in restoration work, was fined $150,000 following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Hamilton.

The incident occurred on October 15, 2018. Two workers were working on the rooftop of a construction project, which consisted in the restoration of balconies on a 13-storey building. To complete the project, restoration work was being performed from a suspended swing stage whilst working on the wings.

Following the restoration of two of the wings, set up was being prepared for work to be performed on the third of four wings. The two workers were not wearing any fall protection equipment, and were not protected from fall hazards despite working on the rooftop.

They were marking measurements to show where the new location for a beam to support the suspended swing stage should be. One of the workers was on hands and knees, holding and watching the live end of measuring tape. The other was holding the zero end of the measuring tape, and walked away towards the end of the wing to mark the location of the beam.

The first worker noticed that the measuring device continued beyond the expected distance, and called out for their co-worker to stop. Nevertheless, their co-worker fatally fell off the edge of the building.

Employers have a necessity to follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulation 213/91. Section 26.1(2) specifically states that a worker “must be protected from falling when working at a height of more than three metres. Various fall protection methods can be used to protect a worker including, for example, a guardrail or a travel restraint system that prevents a worker from reaching the edge of a surface.”

The court found that the defendant failed to ensure a worker was protected by a means of fall protection, also outlined in section 26.1(2), and thereby violated section 25(1)c of the OHSA.

The firm was also imposed a 25 per cent victim surcharge by the court. This is required by the Provincial Offences Act and will be credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime. This surcharge is equal to $37,500, bringing the total fine up to $187,500.