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MOL announces 16 new charges in construction deaths from December 2020

Don Wall
MOL announces 16 new charges in construction deaths from December 2020
FILE PHOTO — Andrew Orfanakos of Newmarket, Ont. (pictured) died in an incident on a construction site in Toronto Dec. 14, 2020. Recently several charges were laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in relation to his death.

The Ontario government announced it has laid charges in two more fatal construction incidents from last December.

The charges stem from incidents on Dec. 26 in Windsor, when a worker succumbed to injuries after a wall collapsed during a demolition job, and Dec. 14, when a 48-year-old construction worker died as a result of injuries suffered on a job at Widmer and Adelaide streets in Toronto.

The new charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), 16 in total, follow the laying of eight charges earlier this month under the OHSA relating to a pair of deaths in London on Dec. 11 last year.

The new charges were laid Dec. 13 and announced Dec. 24.

A Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) release stated a death last Dec. 29 occurred following the wall collapse three days earlier at a jobsite on Cantelon Drive in Windsor. The employer, A1 Quality Concrete, Demolition and Excavation of Halton Hills, faces five charges related to failing to provide supervision, alerting a worker to a hazard or following procedures contained in the OHSA. An individual faces five similar counts as an employer.

In the second set of charges for the Toronto incident, an employer, Limen Group Const. (2019) Ltd. of North York, faces two counts, and is accused of failing to follow OHSA procedures or take precautions to protect a worker, while four other charges were laid against individuals – two workers and two supervisors. One of them was laid against a worker for allegedly using or operating equipment, a machine, a device, or a thing, and/or working in a manner that endangered another worker, contrary to section 28(2)(b) of the act.

Andrew Orfanakos, 48, of Newmarket, Ont. died in that incident.

The MLTSD also reported on three other fatal incidents from last December where no charges were laid. In one of them, on Dec. 2, a man in his 60s, working at a commercial construction project in Toronto, fell while on a scissor lift. The worker was tied off but slipped, hitting his head and succumbing to injuries.

An investigation determined the worker had collapsed which caused him to fall backwards. The coroner confirmed the worker passed away due to natural causes. As well, no charges were laid in the Dec. 15 death of worker Paul Moro, who was crushed by a slab of concrete at an Ontario Tech University jobsite in Oshawa, nor in the death of a traffic signaller at a construction site in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough Dec. 17. The worker was struck and killed by a motorist.

One other case remains under ministry investigation. On Dec. 8 last year, a 69-year-old man working on a bridge project in Georgian Bay fell into an onsite cement/grout batch plant mixer and died from his injuries.

 

Follow the author on Twitter @DonWall_DCN.

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