Workers Health & Safety Centre

Worker killed and supervisor jailed as a result of health and safety violations

A Brampton, Ontario-based roofing company was recently fined $50,000 and its supervisor jailed 15 days for violating the Occupational Health & Safety Act (the Act) and killing a worker.
On August 16, 2011, three workers employed by Roofing Medics Ltd. along with supervisor Paul Markewycz were working on a roofing project in Toronto. One of the workers was installing waterproofing materials while standing on a ladder. The worker lost his balance and fell six metres. According to the Ministry of Labour (MOL), the worker was wearing fall protection equipment but it was not affixed to anything. He was taken to the hospital by Markewycz and died shortly after.
Peel police were contacted by the hospital seeking assistance in identifying the dead worker. According to the Ministry of Labour (MOL), Markewycz was contacted by the police. He informed them the deceased has been helping install roof vents at Markewycz’s Brampton home.
The coroner contacted a MOL inspector which prompted an investigation of the incident. The police also conducted an investigation.
A week after the worker death Markewycz, who is also the director and owner/operator of Roofing Medics Ltd., advised the MOL the incident had not occurred at his home and admitted it took place at a project site. 
Roofing Medics Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure safety measures were carried out as required and to failing to notify an inspector immediately of the worker death and a written report within 48 hours.
Markewycz pleaded guilty to failing as a supervisor to ensure that safety measures and procedures were followed as required and to knowingly furnishing an inspector with false information.
Roofing Medics Ltd. and Markewycz were sentenced on November 21, 2013.

Occupational Health & Safety Act
Section 25(1)(c); Section 27(1)(a); Section 51(1); Section 62(3)(a); Section 66(1)
Duties of Employers
25.  (1)  An employer shall ensure that,
(c)  the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace;

Duties of Supervisor
27.  (1)  A supervisor shall ensure that a worker,
(a)  works in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and the regulations;

Notice of Death or Injury
51. (1) Where a person is killed or critically injured from any cause at a workplace, the constructor, if any, and the employer shall notify an inspector, and the committee, health and safety representative and trade union, if any, immediately of the occurrence by telephone, telegram or other direct means and the employer shall, within forty-eight hours after the occurrence, send to a Director a written report of the circumstances of the occurrence containing such information and particulars as the regulations prescribe. R.S.O. 1990, c.0.1,s. 51(1);2011.c.1.Sched.7,s.2(7).

Obstruction of Inspector
False Information etc.

62. (3) No person shall knowingly furnish an inspector with false information or neglect or refuse to furnish information required by an inspector,
(a)  in the exercise of his or her powers or the performance of his or her duties under this Act or the regulation;

66. (1) Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with,
(a)  a provision of this Act or the regulations;
(b)  an order or requirement of an inspector or a Director; or
(c)  an order of the Minister
Is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than twelve months, or to both.

Want to know more about this conviction?
Want to know more about related WHSC training?
Fall Protection Training
Supervisor Training
Health & Safety: A Worker’s Introduction
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