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Grader Operator, Construction Company Fined in Worker Injury in Hamilton

Court Bulletin

Grader Operator, Construction Company Fined in Worker Injury in Hamilton

Ministry of Labour

Convicted: CRH Canada Group/Groupe CRH Canada Inc. operating as Dufferin Construction Company, 435 Rue Jean-Neveu, Longueil, Quebec, and William James Price operating as Bill Price Grader Rentals, 75 Waterford Crescent, Stoney Creek, Ontario.

Location: Section of Upper Sherman Avenue in Hamilton, Ontario.

Description of Offence: A worker involved in the reconstruction of a road was critically injured when a grader operating in reverse ran over the worker.

Date of Offence: October 5, 2016.

Date of Conviction: July 17, 2018.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following guilty pleas, CRH Canada Group was fined $90,000 and William James Price was fined $5,000. The fines were imposed in Hamilton court by Justice of the Peace Jerry Woloschuk; Crown Counsel Joe Ferraro.
  • 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:

  • William James Price was contracted by CRH Canada Group Inc. to provide grading services for road reconstruction work on Upper Sherman Avenue, between Stone Church Road East and Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway in Hamilton, Ontario. Price is the owner/operator of Bill Price Grader Rentals, and was the operator of the grader.
  • The grading required another worker - depending on the direction of travel of the grader - to be either in front of or behind the grader to provide the grader operator with information.
  • Price was operating the grader in a forward direction, while the other worker was using a plate tamper to pack gravel. While the worker was using the plate tamper, Price put the grader in reverse; the worker was now behind the grader.
  • The grader was equipped with a back-up alarm to warn others when it was being operated in reverse. However, at this point in time, the back-up alarm was not functioning and the worker operating the tamper did not see or hear the approaching grader.
  • The grader struck and ran the worker over. As a result, the worker suffered multiple injuries.
  • A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that that the back-up alarm on the grader was not maintained in a condition that would not endanger the worker. Although the alarm would work occasionally, the wiring of the alarm was in a condition that would cause the alarm to stop working.
  • As such, Price failed as an employer to ensure that all vehicles, machinery, tools and equipment were maintained in a condition that does not endanger a worker, as required by section 93(1) of Regulation 213/91 (the Construction Projects Regulation), contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • The Ministry of Labour's investigation determined that, though there were signs instructing truck drivers not to back up without a signaler, there were no warning signs in conspicuous places to warn workers of the danger of reversing equipment as required by subsection 104(6) of Regulation 213/91. CRH Canada Inc., as the constructor of the project, pleaded guilty to that violation of the law.

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