Worker Fatality Results in $325,000 Fine for Company
Convicted: Coco Paving Inc., 949 Wilson Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, a heavy civil construction company.
Location: A road reconstruction project on Highway 7 near Sciberras Road in Markham, Ontario.
Description of Offence: A worker was killed when steel casing rolled while being moved by a forklift.
Date of Offence: November 2, 2015.
Date of Conviction: September 28, 2018; Sentencing: October 15, 2018.
- Following a trial, the company was fined $325,000 in Newmarket court by Justice of the Peace Philip N. Solomon; Crown Counsel Daniel Kleiman.
- 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.
- Coco Paving Inc. was upgrading watermains buried under Highway 7. The work was part of a larger road-widening project.
- A worker was working alone welding two sections of steel casing on the north shoulder of Highway 7. The total length of the two sections was about 50 feet and weighed about 5,400 pounds.
- A wheel loader with forks attached (a forklift) approached the steel casing to lift and rotate the casing to complete the weld.
- The steel casing suddenly became dislodged from its wooden support and started to roll into a six-foot ditch.
- The casing rolled onto the worker, who became pinned in the ditch under the casing.
- The worker later succumbed to the injuries.· The company was found guilty of failing as an employer to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker, contrary to section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act; in this case, of failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that a worker was not on the ditch side of the pipe when a front-end loader or forklift was in proximity to the pipe.