Company Fined $150,000 After Worker Killed By Moving Construction Equipment
BRAMPTON, ON - Varcon Construction Co. Ltd. pleaded guilty and has been fined $150,000 after a worker was killed by moving equipment on a roadway.
On April 25, 2014, the company was working on a watermain installation project at Chinguacousy Road and Mayfield Road in Brampton. An excavator was removing material and placing it into dump trucks, which were moving on the road with the assistance of a signaler and a paid duty police officer who was directing traffic. In addition, a traffic control plan was in place which included traffic cones.
An equipment operator was asked to retrieve a portable toilet from Creditview Road and Mayfield and to transport it to the intersection of Chinguacousy and Mayfield. The equipment operator strapped the portable toilet to the right-hand side of the bucket of a front-end loader and, with the bucket raised, proceeded to travel in live traffic to the intersection 1.4 km away. The operator stopped on the shoulder of Mayfield Road facing where the toilet was initially to be located and checked in with the crew at this location. The operator communicated with the signaler, who communicated that assistance would be available to stop traffic when the operator wanted to move the vehicle back out again.
The operator was instructed to move the portable toilet to another location, around the corner on Chinguacousy. The operator observed that traffic and trucks were stopped by the police officer and by the Varcon signaler.
Without contacting the signaler further and after briefly checking visually to one side of the vehicle, the operator moved forward around the corner toward the intended drop-off spot. In doing so the equipment struck, ran over and fatally injured one of the workers on the site.
A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that there was a signaler present in the roadway assisting dump trucks, but the equipment operator did not use the assistance of the signaler when moving forward. It was determined that the manner of moving the portable toilet was unsafe due to the placement and location of the portable toilet in the bucket, which restricted the view of the operator. It was also determined that the fatally injured worker had gone into the roadway to move traffic cones so the equipment operator could move forward around the corner as instructed.
The equipment operator either could not see or did not look in the direction of the worker or communicate with workers before moving forward, striking and fatally injuring the worker.
This violated section 37(1) of the Construction Projects Regulation, which requires that material or equipment at a project be moved in a manner that does not endanger a worker.
Varcon Construction Co. Ltd. pleaded guilty and was fined $150,000 in Brampton court by Justice of the Peace Milagro Eustaquio-Syme on February 9, 2016.
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
Ontario Court of Justice
5 Ray Lawson Boulevard
Justice of the Peace Milagro Eustaquio-Syme
Date of Sentencing:
February 9, 2016
Varcon Construction Co. Ltd.
8211 Mayfield Road
Occupational health and safety
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Ontario Regulation 213/91 (Construction Projects Regulation)