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Firm fined after worker falls from faulty scaffolding

DCN News Service
Firm fined after worker falls from faulty scaffolding

KITCHENER, ONT. — A Mississauga-based scaffolding company pleaded guilty and has been fined $85,000 after a worker was permanently injured in a fall from a faulty scaffold.

The company, Echaufauds Plus (Laval) Inc., operating as Action Scaffold Services, is a supplier, erector and dismantler of scaffolds at construction projects, with its Ontario head office located at 7151 Fir Tree Dr. in Mississauga, notes a Ministry of Labour release.

Action Scaffold had been retained to supply scaffolds at a construction project which involved upgrades to the Kitchener Wastewater Treatment Plant at 368 Mill Park Dr. in Kitchener.

On May 27, 2015, an Action Scaffold crew was dismantling a scaffold that had previously been erected inside the primary digester tank at the wastewater plant. That morning, a sawn lumber plank of the scaffold snapped and broke, and a worker fell about seven metres to the floor of the tank.

As a result of the fall, the worker suffered permanent injuries and has not returned to work.

An investigation by a ministry inspector found that the sawn lumber plank on which the worker was standing showed signs of rot and had cracks, some of which spanned almost the full length of the plank.

Section 135(2) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 (the Construction Projects Regulation) states that a work platform made of sawn lumber planks shall have planks of Number 1 grade spruce that do not have any defect affecting their load-carrying capacity.

Action Scaffold pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by law were carried out on the project, and was fined by Justice of the Peace Michael Cuthbertson in a Kitchener court on Jan. 24, 2017.

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