Inside Logistics

Court imposes $313,000 fine in Ontario crane death

Forma-Con construction pleaded guilty in 2015 death of worker

November 28, 2017

BRAMPTON, Ontario — Forma-Con Construction had been contracted by Bondfield Construction Company Ltd. (both of 407 Basaltic Road, Concord) to provide formwork and case cement for a project building the Gore Meadows Community Centre and Library Complex in Brampton, Ontario.

A crane was being used on the worksite that had been identified 12 days previously as being a danger. While being used to transport aluminum joists, the crane tipped over and the boom struck a worker, who was killed on April 21, 2015.

On April 9, 2015, Forma-Con worker Andry Sokhan, a licensed crane operator, sent text messages to supervisor Gordon Graham indicating that the crane was a danger; Graham responded that if the crane posed a danger it should be shut down. The crane continued to be used.

On April 21, 2015, the crane was being used to move aluminum joists. The crane operator hoisted the load and after receiving a signal to do so, began to lower the boom.

The crane tipped over to the right side of the operator’s cab and the boom struck another Forma-Con worker. The worker was declared deceased at the worksite.

At no time was the crane taken out of operation by anyone at the project, despite the communications by the crane operator on April 9 that the crane was in a state of disrepair and posed a serious danger to the operator and everyone around.

All parties entered guilty pleas in Brampton court. Penalties were imposed as follows:

  • Forma-Con Construction was fined $285,000 on November 27, 2017 before a judge, Justice Bruce W. Duncan, for failing as an employer to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker contrary to section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
  • Gordon Graham was fined $15,000 on October 30, 2017 before a judge, Justice Paul T. O’Marra, for failing as a supervisor to take the reasonable precaution of  immediately insisting that a crane be taken out of service after being advised by its operator that it was in a state of disrepair and was a serious danger to himself and workers, contrary to section 27(1)(c) of the OHSA.
  •  Andry Sokhan was fined $13,000 on on November 8, 2017 before a judge, Justice Nancy S. Kastner, for failing as a worker to work in compliance with section 93(2)(a) of the Construction Projects Regulation (Regulation 213/91): “no vehicle, machine, tool or equipment shall be used while it is defective or hazardous,” contrary to section 28(1)(a) of the OHSA.

The court also imposed 25-per-cent victim fine surcharges as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.