It is important for employers to understand the serious consequence of Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) contraventions. Even when no injury occurs, employers can face serious financial consequences, and even imprisonment for failing to adhere to the requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
In a recent case a worker was observed by a Ministry of Labour inspector working on a pitched roof without wearing fall protection as required by law. Fall protection contraventions are considered to be one of the ‘killer contraventions’ within the Province of Ontario and are treated extremely seriously by the Ministry of Labour. Steven Bell, the sole proprietor of the roofing company was sentenced to 7 days incarceration following a guilty plea in a Belleville court on May 7, 2019. Bell had three previous convictions under the OHSA for similar incidents where workers were observed working at heights on a roof without fall protection. The first conviction resulted in a $2,000 fine, the second conviction resulted in a $4,500 fine and in the third conviction Bell was sentenced to one day of imprisonment and a fine of $10,000. In all incidents there were no injuries.
- Section 26.1(2) of Ontario’s Regulation 213/91 (the Construction Projects Regulation) states that a worker working at a height of more than three metres must wear an approved method of fall protection.
- Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) states that an employer must ensure that regulations are followed on a project.
Employers should note that the Act makes it clear that the employers have the greatest responsibilities with respect to health and safety in the workplace. Safety First Consulting Professional Corporation can assist employers in meeting their OHSA requirements. We work diligently to ensure your workplace is safe and compliant.