Lack of Required Training, Protection Results in $70,000 Fine for Tecumseh Company

Convicted: Cybertech Controls and Electric Inc., 8555 Twin Oakes Drive, Tecumseh, Ontario.

Location of Workplace: An industrial facility  Sprucewood Avenue in Windsor, Ontario.

Description of Offence: A worker was injured after falling from the ceiling area of the facility while installing new light fixtures.

Date of Offence: February 15, 2017.

Date of Sentence: March 25, 2019.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following a guilty plea, Cybertech Controls Electric Inc. was fined $70,000 by Justice of the Peace Susan E. Whelan in Windsor provincial court; Crown Counsel Amanda Landre.
  • The court also 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.

 Background:

  • Cybertech was contracted to install new light fixtures and repair existing light fixtures at an industrial facility in Windsor.
  • On February 15, 2017, a worker employed by Cybertech was tasked with installing new light fixtures at the facility. The worker was working alone and unsupervised.
  • The worker used an elevating work platform to access the work area, which was located above the ceiling of the room being worked in.
  • The room had a suspended-type ceiling fabricated of polystyrene panels and metal frames. The height of the ceiling was approximately 21.5 feet (or 6.5 metres).
  • The worker exited the elevating lift into the ceiling area. The worker was not protected by fall protection and fell through the ceiling of the room to the concrete floor below.
  • The worker was found injured on the floor of the room by a worker at the facility. The injured worker sustained critical injuries.
  • The Ministry of Labour investigation found that the injured worker had not received training on the use of fall protection equipment or working at heights, and had not received training on the use of elevating work platforms.
  • Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures required by the act and regulations are carried out at a workplace.
  • Section 26.1(2) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 (the Construction Regulation) requires that a worker exposed to the hazard of falling 3 meters or more shall be adequately protected by a fall protection system.
  • Section 25(2)(a) of the act requires an employer to ensure that a worker is provided with information, instruction and supervision to protect the health and safety of the worker.
  • On February 15, 2017, Cybertech failed to ensure that a worker was adequately protected by a fall protection system in contravention of section 26.1(2) of the Construction Regulation, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the act, and also failed to ensure that a worker was provided with information, instruction and supervision to protect the health and safety of the worker, contrary to section 25(2)(a) of the act.