Multiple Convictions Lead to Jail Term for Belleville Roofer
Convicted: Steven Bell, sole proprietor of a roofing company in Belleville, Ontario.
Location: A residential roofing project in Belleville.
Description of Offence: A worker was observed by a Ministry of Labour inspector working on a pitched roof without wearing fall protection as required by law. Fall protection contraventions are considered to be one of the 'killer contraventions' within the Province of Ontario and are treated extremely seriously by the Ministry of Labour.
Date of Offence: July 22, 2017.
Date of Sentencing: May 7, 2019.
- Following a guilty plea in Belleville court, Justice of the Peace Christopher I. Peltzer sentenced Steven Bell to 7 days' incarceration. Crown Counsel: Neil Gorbardhan.
- On July 22, 2017, a Ministry of Labour inspector observed a roofing project on a residence in Belleville. The inspector observed that a roofer, employed by Bell, was working on the roof at a height in excess of more than three metres from the ground. The worker was not wearing any means of fall protection. There were no injuries.
- Section 26.1(2) of Ontario's Regulation 213/91 (the Construction Projects Regulation) states that a worker working at a height of more than three metres must wear an approved method of fall protection.
- Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) states that an employer must ensure that regulations are followed on a project.
- Bell has three previous convictions under the OHSA:
- On March 11, 2013, an MOL inspector observed three roofers in Belleville, employed by Bell, working at heights of more than three metres without being protected by fall protection. There were no injuries. The $2,000 fine in that conviction has not been paid.
- On November 16, 2013, an MOL inspector observed four roofers in Belleville, employed by Bell, working at a height of more than three metres (actual height: about 18 feet) without being protected by fall protection. There were no injuries. A $4,500 fine was levied, of which $900 remains unpaid.
- On October 7, 2015, an MOL inspector observed a roofer in the City of Quinte West and employed by Bell working at a height of more than three metres (acutal height: about 26 feet) without being protected by fall protection. There were no injuries. For that offence, Bell was sentenced of one day of imprisonment and a fine of $10,000, which has not been paid.