A Christmas Eve 2009 scaffold collapse that killed four migrant workers in Toronto and badly injured a fifth worker has brought multiple OHS charges against two companies and managers.
The Ontario Ministry of Labour has laid 30 charges against Metron Construction Corp., along with 16 charges against a company director and eight against a supervisor.
Swing “N” Scaff Inc., which supplied the platform that collapsed, faces four charges, while a company director has been charged with three OHS violations.
The Ministry of Labour did not name the three individuals facing charges.
Five workers were repairing balconies at a Toronto apartment block when the scaffold upon which they were working gave way, plunging the men 13 stories to the ground. Miraculously, one of the men survived, suffering serious spinal and leg injuries.
The survivor, Dilshod Marupov, 22, is reportedly still in constant pain and can barely get out of bed. He has launched a lawsuit seeking $16.3 million in damages.
Among the numerous OHS charges against Metron are allegations of:
The charges against Swing “N” Scaff Inc. include:
Info to go: Read more about scaffolding safety by clicking on the Info to Go safety links at www.SafeSupervisor.comRead More
One worker was taken to hospital in critical condition, two others in serious condition and one with less serious injuries after a brick wall collapsed at a primary school in Montreal.
The workers were setting up scaffolding in preparation for making repairs to a wall when dozens of bricks suddenly rained down onto them. A witness told news media that it happened so quickly he had no time to shout out a warning.
One worker was knocked unconscious and suffered internal injuries said to be life threatening. Three others were said to be conscious and in stable condition when taken to hospital.
Quebec’s workplace health and safety agency is investigating.Read More
Alleged failure to comply with court orders enforcing citations of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) has result in contempt of court orders and penalties being levied.
OSHA says the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued the contempt order against Brian Andre, former owner of Andre Tuckpointing and Brickwork (AT&B), Andre Stone and Mason Work Inc. (AS&MW) and Regina Shaw, AS&MW’s owner.
The cases stem from numerous citations issued to AT&B and its successor, AS&MW, for willful, repeat and serious violations relating to fall hazards, scaffolding erection hazards, power tool guarding issues and other hazards.
When the companies failed to comply with the court’s order enforcing OSHRC’s final order, the secretary of labor filed petitions for contempt charges. Brian Andre, AS&MW and Regina Shaw must pay $258,582.08. Further, AS&MW and Regina Shaw must pay a $100 daily penalty, calculated from the early 2008 time of default on the OSHRC final order.
In addition, AS&MW must provide OSHA with weekly notification of all current jobs and known future jobs at least 72 hours before commencing work for the next three years. And AS&MW must provide “competent person” training to all people currently and subsequently designated as jobsite “competent persons” prior to beginning any work, and provide the secretary of labor with records of such training.
“Companies that expose employees to hazards and then blatantly ignore citations requiring correction of those hazards, will not be overlooked,” says Charles Adkins, OSHA regional administrator in Kansas City, MO.Read More
A mason who was among workers preparing to build a brick wall at Pellston Regional Airport in Michigan was killed when scaffolding loaded with bricks collapsed onto him.
Lee David Syckle, 61, of Prudenville, MI, unsuccessfully tried to run out of the way as the scaffolding crashed down. He was pronounced dead in hospital.
The married father of three children had been doing construction work for about 35 years. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Syckle enjoyed hunting, stock car racing and officiating softball and youth basketball games.
Michigan occupational safety and health officials are trying to determine what caused the scaffolding to collapse.Read More
An Alberta painting contractor is paying the price after a worker fell from a scaffold that rolled from under him while he was trying to staple a tarp onto a wall. The worker fell nearly five meters (16 feet) to concrete below and died.
Marcel Beaunoyer, sole proprietor of Marcel’s Painting, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker. In addition to being fined $5,000 plus a $750 victim fine surcharge, Beaunoyer was ordered to pay $40,000 to Northern Lakes College for its worker safety training programs.
Info to go: Read more about scaffold safety by clicking on the link at www.SafeSupervisor.comRead More
Here’s a Top 10 list you’ll want to avoid finding yourself on: OSHA’s Top 10 list of most frequently-cited violations between January and the end of September 2006.
During the 94th annual National Safety Congress and Expo in San Diego in early November, OSHA announced that 43,374 violations were included in its 2006 Top 10 list. Numbers from state-run plans aren’t included.
Here are the most recent numbers:
Thomas Industrial Coatings Inc. of Pevely, MO, has been cited for 33 willful violations following the investigation of two fatal workplace incidents on the same Kansas City, MO, bridge and indeed, the very same scaffold.
“Not only did two workers suffer fatal falls while working in Kansas City, but another employee of this company suffered a fatal fall in a similar accident earlier in the year in the St. Louis area,” said OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. “Three fatalities in five months shows gross plain indifference to employee safety.”
One employee died when he fell through a hole on a platform and another died while dismantling the scaffold. A third worker died in another fall a few months earlier.
The latest citations against Thomas Industrial Coatings Inc. allege a lack of fall protection and appropriate training for employees. OSHA says its investigation found a lack of training in fall protection and especially in the safe dismantling of a scaffold.
According to OSHA, a qualified person must design scaffolding, but it is alleging that Thomas did not comply with that requirement. Furthermore, it alleges there were no competent persons around to supervise the work.
The company also allegedly failed to inspect the scaffold and its components and to secure the suspension cables properly.
Info to go: For more information on scaffolding safety click on the link at www.SafeSupervisor.comRead More
Sudden scaffold collapses frequently do not have happy endings, but a recent incident in Daytona Beach, FL, shows what can go right when the unexpected happens and workers are prepared.
Construction workers Hector Rivera and Rosalio Portilla were replacing balconies at the eight-story Harbor Beach Resort when their work platform suddenly collapsed. Both men were saved by their safety harnesses, but not without receiving some injuries during their two-story plunge.
Rivera suffered a broken nose and facial cuts, while Portilla received a leg injury. Firefighters from the department’s High Angle Rescue Team helped both victims to safety.
Info to go: Read more about fall protection by clicking on the link at www.SafeSupervisor.comRead More
Being stranded for two hours in darkness 40 meters (131 feet) above the ground because of a motor malfunction on a swing stage scaffold isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. But it was a particularly unpleasant experience for two window repairmen in Ottawa a few weeks back.
The men, both in their 20s, were fixing windows in –28 C weather when a scaffold motor seized, trapping them for two hours. They had already been working on the scaffold for more than five hours when the problem developed.
Luckily there were sleeping bags on their work platform. The workers were cold but otherwise okay when rescued by firefighters using a fully extended fire truck ladder.Read More