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Thomson Construction Fined $50,000 After Worker Suffers Critical Injuries From Fall

Court Bulletin

Thomson Construction Fined $50,000 After Worker Suffers Critical Injuries From Fall

Ministry of Labour

Convicted: Thomson Construction Ltd., 6904 London Line, Watford, Ontario 

Location of Workplace: Thirteen Mile Road, Township of Middlesex Centre, Ontario

Date of Offence: November 4, 2015

Description of Offence: A worker fell from the roof of a barn under construction to the ground, suffering critical injuries. Under Ontario's health and safety laws the worker should have been protected from falling with a properly-used fall arrest system.

 Date of Conviction: October 2, 2017, in London, Ontario, by Justice of the Peace Robert J. Lewin; Crown Counsel Indira Stewart

 Penalty Imposed:

  • Thomson Construction Ltd. was fined $50,000 after pleading guilty to the offence of failing to ensure that the measures and procedures provided by Section 26.1(2) of the Construction Projects Regulation/Ontario Regulation 213/91, were carried out in the workplace, contrary to Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • The court also 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.

Background:

  • Two workers employed by Thomson Construction Ltd. were constructing a hog barn. On November 4, 2015 they were strapping roof trusses on the barn.

  • While strapping the trusses, one of the workers stepped on a defective strap. The strap broke and the worker fell from the roof to the ground, a distance of about 6.7 metres (about 22 feet). The worker suffered critical injuries.
  • The worker was not protected by any method of fall protection.
  • There was no fall arrest system to protect the worker from falling. Although wearing a harness affixed with a lanyard, there was no anchor point or lifeline on the roof to which the lanyard could have been connected.
  • Section 26.1(2) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 requires that workers exposed to falling more than three metres be adequately protected by an appropriate method of fall protection where it is not practicable to install a guardrail system.

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