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Lack of fall protection results in contractor and supervisor convictions

Complying with fall protection requirements would have prevented a worker’s critical injury and more than $80,000 in recent fines for a Muskoka-area constructor and supervisor.
 
On November 12, 2020, a crew were installing roofing on a residential property in Seguin, Ontario. While moving insulation on a flat section of roof, a worker fell 30 feet to the ground suffering a critical injury.
 
According to the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MOLITSD), compliance violations included those set out in Section 26.1 of the Construction Regulations (O. Reg. 213/91), namely, the lack of guardrails along the perimeter of the roof and failure to ensure fall protection for the worker who fell, along with four additional workers on the roof, including the supervisor.
 
The constructor and the supervisor pleaded guilty and were convicted on June 21, 2022, of contravening respectively Section 23(1)(a) and Section 27 (1)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) — the contractor pleading to failure to ensure “the measures and procedures prescribed by this Act and the regulations are carried out on the project” and the supervisor to failing to ensure a worker, “works in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and the regulations.”
 
The constructor was fined $50,000 and the supervisor $15,000, plus a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge in both cases.

WHSC training—for competence and compliance

As Ontario’s only government designated training centre, Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) offers a range of programs dedicated to assisting contractors, supervisors, workers, joint health and safety committee (JHSC) members and worker health and safety representatives to meet and exceed their legal rights and duties related to fall protection, supervisor competency and the provision of safer, healthier work.

Why not train with us this summer and gain critical competence essential to protecting workers and avoiding the ramifications of failing to comply with occupational health and safety law?   
 
Register for mandatory Working at Heights training!
Ontario regulation requires employers to ensure all workers in their employ who work on construction projects complete a working at heights (WAH) training program approved by the MOLITSD's Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) before working at heights and using a fall protection system. For continued compliance, employers must ensure workers they employ complete an approved WAH refresher program. It is important to keep in mind too construction projects include more than those on construction sites. They can also occur in factories, schools, restaurants, offices, film sets and hospitals, for instance.
 
Register for mandatory Supervisor Health and Safety Training!
Ontario occupational health and safety law requires employers to ensure supervisors complete basic occupational health and safety awareness training in addition to knowledge and competency-based training specific to the workplace. In fact, employers must appoint supervisors who are competent to perform their job. Additionally, under the Criminal Code of Canada, reckless supervisors can be charged with criminal negligence and jailed — along with managers or employers who allow the recklessness to persist.
 
Register for mandatory JHSC Certification training!
Ontario’s OHSA requires two members of a JHSC – one representing workers and one management – to complete Part 1 and 2 of a CPO-approved Certification training program in order to become certified. To remain certified, members must also successfully complete Certification Refresher training every three years.
 
Want to know more about WHSC training offerings?
Be sure to check out our complete schedule of online virtual classroom training including WHMIS, Workplace Violence and Harassment, Psychosocial Hazards and Workplace Mental Health and Federal Committees and Representatives.   
 
Want to learn more about this recent conviction relating to lack of fall protection?
   
Need more information?
Contact a WHSC training services representative in your area.
Email: contactus@whsc.on.ca
Visit: www.whsc.on.ca
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