Ontario Construction News staff writer
K-Line Maintenance and Construction, a Stouffville-based business, has been fined $100,000 after a worker was injured at the Burlington Canal vertical lift bridge worksite.
According to court documents, a worker was critically injured when a rope attached to a tensioner-puller machine pulling an aerial cable over the span of the bridge broke. K-Line Maintenance and Construction Limited “failed as an employer to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by regulation were carried out at a worksite.”
Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Burlington, the company was fined by Justice of the Peace J. Gary McMahon.
Details of the July 6, 2016 incident, according to a provincial report include:
- Workers employed were involved in a project at the Burlington Canal lift bridge.
- A rope being used was attached to a tensioner-puller machine to pull an aerial cable over the span of the bridge and when the pull rope broke, the sudden release of tension caused the cable to rush backward over the span critically injuring a worker.
- A standard operating procedure for the pulling operation that was successfully used on previous days at the site.
- On the day of the incident, a site supervisor instructed workers to vary from the standard operating procedure used for the pull without seeking approval from the Company.
- This variance resulted in a worker being required to stand in a dangerous area for longer than necessary under the standard operating procedure.
- 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.
- Section 93 (3) of Ontario Regulation 213/91: Construction Projects requires that all vehicles, machines, tools and equipment shall be used in accordance with any operating manuals issued by the manufacturers.
The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the 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.