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Company fined $120,000 in young worker fatality

DCN News Service
Company fined $120,000 in young worker fatality

KITCHENER, ONT.—Maison Canada Holdings pleaded guilty and has been fined $120,000 following the death of a young worker on a high-rise student housing project in Waterloo, Ont.

According to the Ministry of Labour (MOL), the young worker was assisting others in the delivery of concrete blocks to the roof, while on the 12th storey of a building at 185 King Street North on Oct. 11, 2013.

A tower crane had lifted a skid of concrete blocks to the roof and placed the skid onto wood planking.

However, the way the load was placed caused the skid to rest on an angle, which created a potential hazard (the blocks weighed about 3,500 pounds).

The workers on the roof decided that the skid of blocks should be re-landed flat onto the roof. So, the load was re-strapped and lifted up and out.

"The load then suddenly propelled toward an exterior parapet wall that surrounded the roof top," said the MOL press release.  "The young worker was situated between the parapet wall and the skid of blocks; the worker hung on to the skid of blocks, which proceeded to trolley out, and crashed through the exterior parapet wall, knocking the worker from the roof top."

The young worker fell four storeys or about 13.2 metres (43.3 feet) to a mast climber. Maison Canada Holdings Ltd. was the constructor of the project.

The young worker was trained in fall protection but was not using any form of fall protection at the time of the incident. The parapet wall was 23.5 inches high (.59 metres) and did not constitute a guardrail. The worker sustained head and leg injuries and later died as a result of the fall.

Maison Canada Holdings pleaded guilty to failing to store and move material or equipment in a manner that does not endanger a worker as required under the Construction Projects Regulation, and thereby violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The company was fined $120,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson on June 12, 2015.

Maison is the second company charged in the worker’s death. Central Construction of Granton, Ontario pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that a fall restricting system is used where a guardrail system is not reasonably possible, and was fined $90,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson on March 20, 2015.

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