HARMONY DEVELOPMENTS II INC. FINED $150,000 FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY VIOLATION
TORONTO--Harmony Developments II Inc., a Toronto construction contractor, was fined $150,000 on December 3, 2001 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in the death of one worker and serious injuries to another worker at a construction site. On March 30, 1999, two workers were installing eavestroughs on the upper level of townhouses when one of the worker's aluminum extension ladders came in contact with a nearby energized 27,600-volt overhead hydro wire. The worker had been moving the ladder to another area of a townhouse when the accident occurred. The worker was electrocuted and died. The second worker, who was on the ground 1.8 to 2.4 metres (six to eight feet) away, suffered third degree burns and had one leg amputated and toes on the other foot amputated. A Ministry of Labour investigation found there were no signs in the area warning of a hazard of energized power lines. The investigation also found the site superintendent had been warned twice by Ontario Hydro that workers at the project were working too close to the hydro lines (within three metres [10 feet]) and that this was a safety hazard. The accident occurred at a new townhouse development at the northwest corner of Sheppard Avenue East and Meadowvale Road in Toronto's east end. The deceased worker had been hired by Roussel Eavestrough Distributor Ltd, which, in turn, had been contracted by Manville Aluminum, to install eavestroughs on the townhouses. Manville Aluminum had been contracted by Harmony Developments. The injured worker had been hired by the deceased worker, who operated a sole proprietorship. Following a trial, Harmony Developments II Inc. was found guilty of failing, as a constructor, to warn workers of the danger of working close to an energized overhead electrical conductor. This was contrary to Section 23(1)(c) of the act. The fine was imposed by Justice Ian MacDonnell in the Ontario Court of Justice at Old City Hall in Toronto. The site superintendent, an employee of Harmony Developments II Inc., was found guilty of failing, as a supervisor, to warn workers of the danger of working close to an energized overhead electrical conductor. This was contrary to Section 27(2)(a) of the act.
Justice MacDonnell fined the site superintendent $5,000 and imposed a four-month probation, with the condition the superintendent take a supervisor safety course from the Construction Safety Association of Ontario. Earlier, on May 4, 2001, Roussel Eavestrough Distributors Ltd., a Toronto-based eavestrough installation company, pleaded guilty in connection with the same case to failing, as an employer, to ensure a worker did not bring an aluminum extension ladder closer than three metres (10 feet) to an energized overhead electrical conductor. This was contrary to Section 25(1)(c) of the act. Justice Edward Ormston, of the Ontario Court of Justice at Toronto's Old City Hall, fined the company $110,000.