An Ontario supervisor has been convicted and fined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for disturbing an accident scene.
According to a Ministry of Labour press release, a worker at a residential construction site sustained fractures and a back injury when he fell through an open deck that had been framed but not yet completed. According to the press release, the supervisor “directed workers to install guardrails and the deck floor before the Ministry of Labour attended the scene. This was done without the permission of a ministry inspector.”
The supervisor was fined $2,500.00.
The company pleaded guilty and was fined $50,000.00 for failing to ensure that a guardrail system was in place.
This case demonstrates the importance of employers ensuring that employees do not disturb the scene of an accident – other than to attend to an injured worker – until the Ministry of Labour inspector has arrived. Inspectors and prosecutors will show little mercy to those who disturb the scene and potentially make it difficult for the inspector to carry out his or her investigation, particularly if the inspectors suspect an attempt to cover up the facts.
The Ministry of Labour press release may be accessed here.