July 12, 2012 4:00 PM
On December 15, 2009, bridge construction was underway on the Queen Elizabeth Way over Bronte Creek in Oakville. The construction company 474294 Ontario Limited, carrying on business as Northern Machinery Services, was removing the concrete deck of the existing bridge. The president of the company, Barry Wood, was supervising. While workers were removing concrete panels from the bridge a section of the deck began to collapse. A worker fell and a collapsing concrete panel fell on top of the worker. The worker was killed.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Mr. Wood had been provided with a copy of an engineered procedure for safely cutting and removing concrete from the bridge deck in order to maintain its structural integrity and prevent collapse. However, this procedure had been violated. Furthermore, the workers exposed to a fall hazard while dismantling the bridge had not been wearing fall protection.
Barry Wood pleaded guilty to failing, as a supervisor, to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that workers engaged in the cutting and removal of the bridge deck followed the engineered procedure for that task. He was fined $20,000 for this violation.
Mr. Wood also pleaded guilty to failing, as a supervisor, to ensure that workers exposed to a fall hazard were wearing fall protection. He was fined $10,000 for this violation.
The fines were imposed by Justice Stephen Brown. In addition to the fines, 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.
Court Information at a Glance
Location: Ontario Court of Justice
491 Steeles Ave. E.
Judge: Justice Stephen Brown
Date of Sentencing: July 12, 2012
Defendant: Barry Wood
Matter: Occupational Health and Safety
Conviction: Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 27(2)(c)
Ontario Regulation 213/91, Section 26.1(2)
Crown Counsel: Wes Wilson