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Ayton constructor fined following critical fall injury

Ayton constructor fined following critical fall injury

OWEN SOUND, ONT. — Domm Construction of Ayton, Ont. has been convicted and fined for its role in a 2020 workplace incident in which a worker was critically injured while performing duties at an Ayton construction site.

Following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Owen Sound, Domm was convicted June 23 and fined $75,000 by Justice of the Peace Thomas Stinson.

The mishap occurred Oct. 29, 2020. On that date, four Domm employees were working on the construction of a new barn, stated a Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development report.

The workers were installing girts atop the roof trusses of the barn. Girts are 16-foot long, two-inch by four-inch timbers nailed to the inclined top timbers of roof trusses.

One worker went down the incline to get additional girts. On the way back up, the worker stepped on the end of a girt that had been set in place but not yet nailed in. The unsecured girt slid down the inclined timber of the truss. The unexpected movement caused the worker to fall approximately 16 feet to the concrete floor of the barn and suffer a critical injury.

A ministry investigation determined Domm had not established or trained workers on a safe procedure for installing girts.

In addition, despite being exposed to a fall of more than three metres, the injured worker was not protected by a method of fall protection. The workers had personal fall protection harnesses and lanyards at the jobsite, but none of them were wearing the equipment, and there were no lifelines nor retractable lifelines set up on the roof.

It was determined the workers had received formal Working at Heights Training, as required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), but no site or task-specific training was provided by the employer.

Accordingly, Domm was found to have failed as an employer to take the reasonable precaution of developing or implementing a safe work procedure for installing girts, contrary to section 25(2)(h) of the OHSA.

Furthermore, supervisor Shawn Weltz failed as a supervisor to ensure that workers were protected by a method of fall protection as required by section 26.1(2) of Ontario Regulation 213/91, contrary to section 27(1)(a) of the OHSA.

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