Hefty Fines for Recent Worker Deaths

Photo: Gudel.com

In Brampton Ontario Court of Justice, McNally Construction Inc., a Hamilton construction company, was fined $170,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Aug. 19. A worker was fatally injured in 2011.

The worker was operating a battery powered locomotive in a tunnel project at Mississauga Road and Queen Street in Brampton. The worker moved the locomotive along a track that ran through a gantry — an overhead crane-trolley device. While under the device, the locomotive stopped. A supervisor disconnected the cars from the locomotive. As the cars were being disconnected, the locomotive moved forward, crushing the worker’s head between the vehicle battery pack and the gantry, killing him.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the gantry was not safe for use with the locomotive supplied.

McNally Construction Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice George S. Gage.

Pyramid Traffic, a Grimsby traffic service information company, received a $100,000 fine, Aug. 19, for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). A worker was killed on the job last summer.

In June 2012, two workers were preparing to install an automatic traffic counter in the passing lane on Trafalgar Road in Milton. Their work vehicle was stopped in the passing lane with its warning lights activated. As they opened the doors and began to prepare their equipment, a pickup truck struck the work vehicle, causing it to spin and strike one of the workers. That worker suffered fatal injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the employer failed to ensure that the flow of traffic was appropriately controlled, by using a sign truck equipped with a flashing arrow, properly positioned ahead of the work vehicle.

Pyramid Traffic pleaded guilty at Ontario Court of Justice in Burlington, to failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker (Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 25(2)(h)).

Justice of the Peace Denis Lee imposed the fine. A 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act, is added to the fine.

Further Reading:

Frequently asked OHSA questions, from the Ministry of Labour

OHSA-fine articles at Paralegal SCOPE
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