G. Tackaberry & Sons Construction Fined $110,000 After Worker Killed
BROCKVILLE, ON - G. Tackaberry & Sons Construction Company Limited, a producer of sand, gravel and other aggregate products, has been fined $110,000 for a violation of Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed.
On October 29, 2012, a crew of workers was preparing to dismantle mobile rock crushing equipment at the company's surface mine known as the Woods Quarry located at 5436 Woods Drive in Elizabeth-Kitley Township near Athens. The piece of equipment, a stacker conveyor, consists of a hopper and a truss frame that supports a conveyor belt 120 feet long and 36 feet high at one end.
The workers were required to fold and lower the stacker's top (or head frame) onto the lower (centre) frame so it could be moved to another surface mine location. However, a belt restraint bar on the stacker was preventing the head frame from being fully lowered.
A crew member lifted another worker to a height of about nine feet to the head frame, using a front end loader; the worker then climbed between the partly-folded head and centre frames to access a pin securing the belt restraint bar. It is believed the worker accidentally made contact with a main hydraulic fitting that controls the height of the head frame, which was positioned directly above the worker. The hydraulic cylinder broke, causing a sudden release of the hydraulic fluid and pressure. There was no blocking material in place between the head frame and the centre frame to prevent the subsequent collapse of the head frame on the worker. The worker later died from the crushing injuries.
G. Tackaberry & Sons Construction Company pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that the stacker conveyor's head frame was blocked so as to prevent its accidential lowering as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and was fined $110,000.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Raymond J. Switzer. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
Court Information at a Glance
Location: Ontario Court of Justice
32A Wall Street
Judge: Justice of the Peace Raymond J. Switzer
Date of Sentencing: October 23, 2013
Defendant: G. Tackaberry & Sons Construction Company Ltd.
109 Washburn Road
Matter: Occupational Health and Safety
Conviction: Ontario Regulation 854/90
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Crown Counsel: Daniel Kleiman