Why did the courts fine this Ontario company after worker suffered critical injuries from fall?

Court fined Santoro Construction Inc. $90000 after a worker suffered critical injuries from a fall from heights.

Why did the courts fine this Ontario company after worker suffered critical injuries from fall?

Why did the courts fine this Ontario company after worker suffered critical injuries from fall?

How and why the worker suffered critical injuries?

Santoro Construction Ltd. had appointed GMJ Electric Inc. to perform all the electrical installations at 27 Fasken Drive. Moreover, Santoro Construction Ltd. was the constructor of the project. Further, GMJ Electric Inc. was the employer of the worker. Along with a co-worker, the worker was tying in and labelling electrical wiring. In fact, they were doing this in the ceiling of a renovated office area.

The worker was working on the top third rung of a 10-foot step ladder. The worker was reaching into an area above the grid of a drop ceiling. Consequently, the worker fell from the ladder to the floor and the worker suffered critical injuries.

What were the charges?

The courts came to a conclusion that Santoro Construction Inc. failed to provide its worker with the equipment appropriate for those situations where the worker cannot perform the work on or from the ground without hazard to the worker. Thus, the company violated section 125(1) of the Construction Projects Regulation (Ontario Regulation 213/91) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In circumstances where a worker cannot perform work on or from the ground without hazard to workers, the section requires a constructor to provide a worker with a:

  • Scaffold
  • Suspended work platform
  • A boatswain’s chair or
  • A multi-point suspended work platform

(Source: MOL Court Bulletin)

How can an online subcontractor management system help?

I live OHS information sharing platform, 4SafeCom™ Subcontractor Management System helps an employer manage subcontractors’ OHS documents efficiently. In fact, the subcontractor OHS management system helps the employer as well as the subcontractor.

Following are some of the key features of the subcontractor management system:

Review and acknowledgement of policies

Employers can use the subcontractor management system to request subcontractors to review and acknowledge the employer’s policies and procedures. This ensures higher levels of awareness for the subcontractors with regards to the employer’s policies and procedures. Therefore, this will go a long way in improving workplace safety, helping the company work towards a safety culture.

Review training records and notifications for expired records

Employers can use the 4SafeCom™ Subcontractor Management System to review training records of subcontractors. Moreover, the employers can receive a bi-weekly or weekly summary matrix report for their subcontractors. This will provide the employer with a clear summary of trainings assigned, pending, and those that have expired. The employer can delve deeper and get detailed information on each subcontractor’s training records by clicking on the subcontractor profile. Further, the subcontractor system alerts you in case of expiry of OHS documents such as WSIB clearance certificate, workers’ compensation documents, and general liability insurance.

Site orientation

The subcontractor management system allows employers to perform site-specific orientation for subcontractors. Moreover, employers can create a customized orientation program. The subcontractors can complete the orientation before commencing site work.

Easier management of OHS documents

The simple dashboard and easy user interface of the subcontractor system allow subcontractors’ site workers and the employer’s site supervisors to manage the OHS documents easily using their mobile phones or tablets.

A separate trial will be held with the GMJ Electric, the subcontractor who employed the worker scheduled to commence in July 2018. However, what needs to be noted here is that the authorities are going increasingly after the general contractor first and the subcontractor next. Thus, subcontractors’ OHS due diligence has become a key factor for the general contractors.

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