Workers fined $10,000 each for fatal accident at worksite

Two workers for an Ontario construction company were found to be negligent by the Ontario Ministry of Labour in the death of another worker at a construction site and face fines of $10,000 each.

Two workers were fined $10,000 each, and their employer more than $100,000, after a worker was killed on a construction site.

Gaydon Contractors Ltd., a company based in Richmond Hill, Ont., was building an addition to a church in Stouffville, Ont., in the summer of 2005. On Aug. 5, 2005, a roofer employed by a contractor fell through a hole to a cement floor more than six metres below and died. The Ministry of Labour launched an investigation into the accident.

The investigation revealed the opening in the roof, along with several others, were cut by Gaydon workers to move machinery two days before the contractor arrived at the site. Before the roof work began, the contractor identified the holes as a safety risk and requested they be covered.

Most holes were covered with plywood and the opening in question was later covered with insulating foam nailed to the roof by a Gaydon carpenter. The insulating foam, which was not intended for use as a protective cover, was not securely fastened nor was it identified as covering an opening. On the morning of Aug. 5, the site supervisor walked the roof and declared it safe. When the roof work began, the roofer stepped on the foam, which gave way and he fell through.

The site supervisor and the carpenter, along with the company, were charged with and pleaded guilty to violations of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Regulations for Construction Projects for their roles in creating the dangerous conditions leading to the accident. The two employees were fined $10,000 each and Gaydon $105,000 by the Ontario Court of Justice.

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