CALEDON, ON – An elevator company pleaded guilty and was fined $80,000 after a worker suffered injuries and was airlifted to hospital for treatment. The incident took place at United Hoist Equipment Ltd.’s office and storage facility located at 106 Commercial Road in Bolton. The company is in the business of providing personal and material elevators for the construction industry.
On May 21, 2015, two workers were unloading tower sections from a flat-bed truck and placing them in piles to be stored. Tower sections are the structural steel frames used to build the elevators. Each tower section was 20 feet long and approximately 29 inches high by 29 inches wide and weighed approximately 1,760 pounds.
A boom truck with a nylon sling attachment was used to lift the tower sections off the flatbed truck and stack them on their sides, one on top of the other. After four tower sections had been stacked in this manner, one of the workers walked across the top of the top tower section and untied the nylon sling. Before the worker had the chance to get off the tower section the boom truck operator began lifting the boom and the hook on the boom got caught on the tower section. This caused the tower section that the worker was standing on to shake. The rocking motion caused the worker to slip and fall approximately 10 feet to the ground; the tower section then rolled over and landed on top of the worker.
Section 45(a) of Ontario Regulation 851, provides that materials shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material does not endanger the safety of any worker. United Hoist failed as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by that regulation were carried out at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)..
The sentences were imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Barnes in Caledon provincial court on November 16, 2016.
In addition to the fines to, the court 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.