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Ontario employer fined $100K after worker killed

By COS staff
| www.cos-mag.com

APCO Industries Co. Ltd., a manufacturer and distributor of oils, greases, rust preventatives and lubricants, was fined $100,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

On Jan. 28, 2011, APCO workers were repairing a leak in the roof of a storage warehouse at the company's Toronto workplace. The warehouse roof had six plastic dome covered skylights. A worker walking backwards tripped on the flashing of a skylight and fell through it about 5.5 metres (18 feet) to the concrete floor below. The worker's injuries were fatal.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found there were no guardrails around the skylights while the workers were on the roof, nor did the skylights themselves constitute a protective covering over the opening in the roof. At no time during the repairs were the workers wearing or using any form of fall protection, the ministry said.

APCO pleaded guilty for failing as an employer to ensure that a guardrail or protective covering was used to prevent workers from falling through the skylights.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace John R. Cottrell. In addition to the fine, 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.

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