ST. CATHARINES, ONT. — Toronto-based Anchor Shoring & Caissons Ltd. pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after two workers were injured when a reinforcing cage collapsed with the workers in it at a Fort Erie, Ont. worksite.
The firm designs and installs soil retention systems and caisson foundations.
A Ministry of Labour media release indicated the company had been retained to undertake construction of a foundation for a new hydro tower at 88 Niagara Blvd. in Fort Erie and on Nov. 13, 2015, two workers were working inside a cylindrical cage made of reinforcement bars (rebars).
Earlier, workers had used a crane to remove the cage from a flatbed truck.
The cage, which was about 25 feet long and 11 feet in diameter, was positioned horizontally on the ground.
The workers were standing within the cage, removing some of the internal braces that made up the cage.
Once prepared in this way, the cage would be raised by the crane into a vertical position, then lowered and inserted into one of the caissons.
The cage was intended to reinforce pumped concrete.
The two workers had removed a number of the braces and handed them to their supervisor situated outside the cage.
At that point, the cage collapsed, trapping the two workers.
As a result of the cage's collapse, the two workers each suffered minor injuries.
Ontario Regulation 213/91 — the Construction Projects Regulation — states that any part of a project, including a temporary structure, "shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse."
Anchor Shoring was found to have failed as an employer to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were carried out on the project. This was also contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The company was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Kelly Visser in a St. Catharines court on March 24, 2017.
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.