Stouffville company fined $100K after worker critically injured on Burlington bridge
A photo of the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge. (Government of Canada photo)
Published Tuesday, March 14, 2023 4:32PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 14, 2023 4:38PM EDT
A Stouffville-based construction company has been fined $100,000 after a worker was injured on the job.
The incident happened on July 6, 2016 on the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge.
According to a March 14 court bulletin from the provincial Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development, a construction worker sustained life-threatening injuries when a rope that was attached to a machine pulling an aerial cable over the span of the bridge broke.
“When this pull rope broke, the sudden release of tension caused the cable to rush backward over the span critically injuring a worker,” the bulletin read.
The Ministry said that the company in question, K-Line Maintenance and Construction Ltd. had a standard operating procedure in place for the pulling operation that was “successfully used on previous days at the site.”
However on the day of the incident, a supervisor – without the company’s approval – instructed workers to vary from that procedure, the ministry said.
“This variance resulted in a worker being required to stand in a dangerous area for longer than necessary under the standard operating procedure,” the Ministry said.
“Contrary to the rope manufacturer’s manual, the site supervisor did not instruct the workers to increase the safety factor of the rope when they were exposed to the hazard in question (for example, by using a stronger pull rope), nor did the supervisor take other steps to protect the workers in the event of an unanticipated rope failure.”
K-Line Maintenance and Construction Ltd., which is based in Stouffville, was convicted on Feb. 9 of failing as an employer to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by section 93 (3) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 were carried out contrary to section 25 (1) (c) of the Occupational Safety Act. This regulation requires all vehicles, machines, tools, and equipment in construction projects to be used in accordance with any operating manuals issued by the manufacturers.
After pleading guilty in the Provincial Offenses Court in Burlington, Ont., the company was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.
The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge on K-Line as required under the Provincial Offences Act.