[author: Adrian Miedema]
A construction supervisor was fined $30,000 after pleading guilty to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The supervisor admitted to failing to ensure that workers wore fall protection and followed a work procedure for safely cutting and removing concrete from a bridge deck.
The Ministry of Labour, in its press release, states that, “While workers were removing concrete panels from the bridge a section of the deck began to collapse. A worker fell and a collapsing concrete panel fell on top of the worker. The worker was killed.”
The Ministry also notes that the supervisor had been provided with a copy of an engineered procedure for safely cutting and removing concrete from the bridge deck in order to maintain its structural integrity and prevent collapse. However, this procedure had been violated. Furthermore, the workers exposed to a fall hazard while dismantling the bridge had not been wearing fall protection.
This is a significant fine against a supervisor personally. Our recent statistical study of Ontario safety prosecutions found that more than 50% of Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against individuals were withdrawn by the Ministry of Labour. However, the Ministry is less likely to withdraw charges where, as here, the supervisor had been given the proper procedure and failed to follow it.
The Ministry of Labour’s press release may be accessed here.