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Builder fined $200,000 in St. Catharines elevator platform collapse

DCN-JOC News Services
Builder fined $200,000 in St. Catharines elevator platform collapse

WELLAND, ONT. — A Hamilton-area constructor has been fined $200,000 for a 2021 incident where two workers fell when an elevator platform collapsed at a residential project in St. Catharines, Ont.

The workplace was a highrise residential construction site at 40 Towering Heights Blvd. in St. Catharines, stated a Ministry of Labour release.

Four convictions were registered on Dec. 6. Homestead Land Holdings Limited of Kingston was fined $150,000, Reimar Construction Corporation of Hannon, Ont. was fined $200,000, Reimar supervisor Jose Martinho was fined $15,000 and Reimar director Miguel Martins was fined $15,000.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Bruce Phillips following guilty pleas at the Provincial Offences Court in Welland.

According to the ministry account, on April 16, 2021, Martinho had assigned two workers to move and install formwork for the inner walls of the building’s elevator shaft from the eighth to the ninth storey.

The workers, the supervisor and a crane operator began to install and level an elevator shaft platform supported by beams that rested in pockets formed into the concrete elevator walls for the workers to stand on while installing the formwork.

As it developed, the workers had trouble aligning all the beams into their respective pockets.

The supervisor installed an additional bracket under one end of one support beam since the workers were having trouble with the adjusting screw and there was concern over the amount of bearing in that pocket.

No engineering approval was obtained for the installation of the bracket, and the heads of the anchors that attached the bracket to the concrete, which did not fail, were too small for the opening in the bracket.

Once the platform was installed and levelled, a 5,430-kilogram section of formwork was placed on it and the two workers positioned themselves on the platform.

As work was underway the platform collapsed at one end causing the workers to fall and become critically injured.

Section 89(2) of the Construction Regulation requires that the formwork and falsework used in this incident, including the elevator shaft platform, be designed by an engineer and be installed in accordance with the design drawings.

It was determined that Reimar was responsible for but did not obtain site-specific drawings prepared by a professional engineer for the elevator shaft platform for the tower.

Homestead and Reimar contravened Section 23(1)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) by failing to ensure that the measures and procedures required by Section 89(2) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 were carried out.

Martinho contravened Section 27(2)(c) of the OHSA by failing to ensure that modifications were not made to the support system for the elevator shaft platform without the approval of a professional engineer.

Martins contravened Section 32 of the OHSA by failing to ensure that Reimar complied with the requirements of Section 89(2) of Ontario Regulation 213/91.

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