Workers Health & Safety Centre

Lack of fall protection leads to conviction, ban from construction industry

A Belleville, Ontario roofing company owner has been stripped of his right to work or employ anyone in the construction industry following a guilty plea in fall protection case.  
According to a December, 2023 Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) court bulletin, the company was convicted of failing, as an employer, to ensure where a worker is exposed to a fall of more than three metres they are adequately protected by a method of fall protection, as required by section 26.1(2) of the Construction Regulations (O. Reg. 213/91) and contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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Roofer banned from construction industry

This was the fifth lack of fall protection conviction for Steven Bell, the sole proprietor of the roofing company. On two of the previous occasions Bell was sentenced to jail time. In this most recent case Bell was given a suspended sentence, subject to a probationary order, which strips him of the right to work or employ anyone, directly or indirectly, in the construction industry.
Although no workers were injured or killed in the incidents cited above, many continue to fall to their death on Ontario construction sites. On December 1, 2023, a worker fell from the second story of a residential home under construction in Toronto and died. Just a week later, on December 7, a 20-year-old fell to his death at a workplace in Zorra Township, northeast of London, Ontario. No specific information is available in either case as the MLITSD investigation is ongoing.

Fall protection training obligations

Employers must comply with a range of fall protection obligations including ensuring workers who work on construction projects complete a working at heights (WAH) training program approved by the MLITSD Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) before working at heights. And for continued compliance, employers must ensure workers they employ complete an approved WAH refresher program every three years.

It is important to keep in mind too construction projects include more than those on major construction sites. This law also governs projects in manufacturing facilities, schools, shopping malls, offices, film sets and residential homes.

The MLITSD is currently undertaking a construction safety compliance initiative with inspectors visiting job sites across Ontario looking to ensure fall protection obligations are being met including working at heights training requirements.

WHSC can help

As Ontario’s only government-designated occupational health and safety training centre, Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) is a leading provider of Working at Heights (WAH) training and WAH refresher training. Our programs are CPO-approved, affordably priced, and delivered by experienced instructors who ensure critical learning is achieved. Both programs are scheduled in various cities over the coming months.


Don’t see a date that works for you, wish to discuss onsite WAH training or just a have a question, connect with a training services representative in your area.

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Belleville Roofer Forced Out of Construction Due to Repeated Safety Violations

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