ST. CATHARINES, ONT. —A farm owner pleaded guilty and was fined $18,000 after a worker was killed by a concrete block while helping build a bridge.
According to the Ministry of Labour (MOL), the incident took place on Jan. 22, 2015 at White Meadows Farms located at 2519 Effingham Street in St. Catharines.
Workers were in a wooded area of the property attempting to place a concrete block that weighed over 2,800 pounds onto an existing concrete pad at the top of a ravine. It was part of the process of building a new bridge across the ravine.
Two workers were standing on the slope of the ravine to guide the concrete block into place. Murray Bering, carrying on business in partnership as White Meadows Farms, was the employer and was operating a tractor equipped with lifting forks, the MOL reports.
The concrete block was linked to the forks of the tractor with a chain and fabric strap. As the concrete block was being lowered, the chain around the blocked slipped off the forks and the block began rolling down the slope of the ravine. A worker was unable to get out of the way of the block and was killed instantly.
The MOL investigated and found that the employer "failed to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that a concrete block was moved in a safe manner" as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Bering was fined by Justice of the Peace Mary Shelley in St. Catharines court on Aug. 26.
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