BARRIE, Ontario—RES Precast Inc, a company that designs, fabricates and erects concrete panels, pleaded guilty and was fined $65,000 after a worker suffered critical injuries from panels that tipped over.
On April 21, 2014, workers were at the company’s industrial facility at 3450 Thomas Street in Innisfil, Ontario where the panels are cast in forms and removed using an overhead crane. Two panels measuring about 20 feet long and weighing a combined 3,750 pounds were being moved to a storage area in the yard at the time.
The storage area contained a number of concrete pillars lying horizontally on the ground and the concrete panels were to be stored on top of the horizontal pillars. The crane operator was being assisted by two workers on the ground. After the crane lowered the concrete panels onto the pillars, one of the workers walked over to the panels and removed the nylon sling that attached the panels to the crane. At that point, the panels tipped over and fell onto the worker. The worker suffered broken bones, lacerations and crushing injuries.
The Ministry of Labour investigation revealed that the panels were placed on pillars that were uneven and sloped. This violated Section 45(b) of the Industrial Establishments Regulation (Ontario Regulation 851) that prescribes that material, articles or things shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material will not tip, collapse or fall and endanger a worker.
RES Precast Inc pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the proper measures and procedures were carried out, and was fined $65,000 in Barrie court by Justice of the Peace Gerald Stephen Solursh on March 22, 2016.
In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-percent 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.