Ontario construction supervisor personally fined $30,000 after worker’s death

Supervisor held personally responsible for safety violations that led to death of worker under his supervision
|employmentlawtoday.com|Last Updated: 07/31/2012

An Ontario construction company supervisor has been fined $30,000 for violations of the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed on his watch.

On Dec. 15, 2009, bridge construction was underway on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Oakville, Ont. The construction company Northern Machinery Services was removing the concrete deck of the existing bridge. The president of the company, Barry Wood, was supervising. While workers were removing concrete panels from the bridge, a section of the deck began to collapse. A worker fell and a collapsing concrete panel fell on top of the worker. The worker was killed.

An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation found that Wood had been provided with a copy of an engineered procedure for safely cutting and removing concrete from the bridge deck in order to maintain its structural integrity and prevent collapse. However, this procedure had been violated. Furthermore, the workers exposed to a fall hazard while dismantling the bridge had not been wearing fall protection.

Wood pleaded guilty to failing, as a supervisor, to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that workers engaged in the cutting and removal of the bridge deck followed the engineered procedure for that task. He was fined $20,000 for this violation.

Wood also pleaded guilty to failing, as a supervisor, to ensure that workers exposed to a fall hazard were wearing fall protection. He was fined $10,000 for this violation.

The $30,000 in fines was against Wood personally, as opposed to Northern Machinery Services, for his violations of the act.

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