Brockville construction company fined $75,000 after worker critically injured

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A Brockville construction company has been fined after a worker sustained a critical injury in the summer of 2022.

An April 2 media release from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills states that on Feb. 21, 2024, Richard D. Steele Construction pleaded guilty after an incident that took place on Aug. 8, 2022. The hearing took place at the Provincial Offences Court in Brockville, and the company was fined $75,000 by Justice of the Peace Stephen Dibblee and Crown Counsel Tyler Fram.

The accusation states that “The defendant failed to provide for the safe installation of siding and trim on a house from a height. Richard D. Steele Construction (1979) Ltd. failed as an employer to ensure that the requirements of section 125(1) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 (Construction Projects) were carried out at the project, and thereby violated section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).”

 The media release explains that in August, 2022, two workers were installing exterior siding and trim on the wall of a private dwelling.

“A pump jack scaffold system had been set up to allow the workers to perform the work at height, however, it did not span the entire wall being worked on,” the release states.

One of the workers then climbed an extension ladder that was leaned against the wall in the area not accessible from the scaffold. The worker started using the pneumatic nail gun at a height of more than three metres, when they leaned over and the extension and ladder slipped from the side of the house.

“The worker fell and suffered a critical injury,” the release says.

Section 125(1) of Regulation 213/91 mandates that where work cannot be done on or from the ground or from a building or other permanent structure without hazard to workers, a worker shall be provided with a scaffold, a suspended work platform, a boatswain’s chair or a multipoint suspended work platform that meets the requirements of the Regulation.

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