TORONTO – Following a trial, Coco Paving Inc., a Toronto-based heavy civil construction company was convicted and fined $325,000 in Newmarket court after a worker was killed when steel casing rolled while being moved by a forklift.
The incident took place on November 2, 2015 at a road reconstruction project on Ontario Highway 7 near Sciberras Road in Markham, Ontario.
The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
Coco Paving Inc. was upgrading watermains buried under Highway 7. The work was part of a larger road-widening project. A worker was working alone welding two sections of steel casing on the north shoulder of Highway 7. The total length of the two sections was about 50 feet and weighed about 5,400 pounds.
A wheel loader with forks attached (a forklift) approached the steel casing to lift and rotate the casing to complete the weld. The steel casing suddenly became dislodged from its wooden support and started to roll into a six-foot ditch.
The casing rolled onto the worker, who became pinned in the ditch under the casing. The worker later succumbed to the injuries.