Canadian contractor fined CA$90K for nonworker's fatal fall
- After pleading guilty to violating Ontario, Canada's Occupational Health and Safety Act in relation to a fatal fall on one of its project sites, Justice of the Peace Sunny Ng from the Ontario Court of Justice has fined Toronto-based contractor Dominus Construction Corp. CA$90,000 (approximately U.S. $69,000).
- On May 17, 2016, 84-year-old Carl Mollins, according to The Star, who did not have the authorization to be in Dominus' under-construction condominium building, fell 15 feet after entering an empty elevator shaft and later died from his injuries. The three temporary, wooden doors opening up to the elevator shaft were the same as other temporary doors in the condo unit and, with the doorknob holes drilled out, were wedged shut with a piece of wood but left unlocked while workers were in the building. The Ministry of Labor determined that Dominus did not post signage that gave adequate warnings as to the potential danger of the open elevator shaft.
- Dominus has 10 months to pay the fine. Prosecutors withdrew three other charges against Dominus and the partnership of Fernbrook Homes (Pier 27) Ltd., Cityzen Pier 27 Inc. and Archway Harbourfront Inc.
In the United States, the Department of Labor's OSHA is responsible for the rules that govern worker safety — not the general public's — on construction sites, although safe work practices contribute to everyone's wellbeing. For instance, OSHA's scaffold safety standards could prevent a collapse that could harm those outside the confines of the jobsite.
However, the American National Standards Institute has a standard on the books, "Protection of the Public on or Adjacent to Construction Sites." One of the requirements of the standard is that contractors institute measures to make sure the public does not have unrestricted access to the jobsite. If that is not possible, then the institute's standard mandates that any potential danger be locked, barricaded or removed from the site. The standard also suggests that contractors consider installing security systems or hiring security personnel to make sure those not authorized to enter the jobsite are kept off the property.
The standard also addresses public safety as it relates to pedestrian hazards, lighting, radiation, machinery and vehicles, falling objects or items that can take flight during windy conditions, pollution, utilities, hazardous materials and substances, vibrations and subsidence, protests and threats of violence. The institute also offers guidelines for creating a response plan in case of property damage or injury to a member of the public.
- Ontario Ministry of Labor Construction Site Fatality Results in $90,000 Fine for Construction Company
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