Vixman Construction Ltd Sentenced to $125,000 fine and 18 Months Probation After Workplace Fatality at Billy Bishop Airport, Toronto
Convicted: Vixman Construction Ltd., 4919 7th Line, RR#4 Rockwood, ON.
Location of Workplace: Billy Bishop Airport, Toronto, ON.
Description of Offence: failing as employer to ensure measures and procedures prescribed in section 26.6 (2) and 26.6(3) of O. Reg. 213/91 were carried out, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Date of Offences: March 27, 2018.
Date of Conviction: January 16, 2020.
- Following trial, Vixman Construction Ltd was sentenced to a fine of $125,000 and 18 months probation in provincial offences court in Toronto by Justice of the Peace G. Fantino; Crown Counsel Wes Wilson.
- 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.
- On March 27, 2018, Vixman Construction Ltd., an Ontario corporation, was contracted to install corrugated steel sheeting to form a roof over several new walkways at Billy Bishop Airport from the gates onto the tarmac. On March 27, two workers were working on a walkway. They were using self-retracting lifelines (SRLs) for fall protection, attached to full body harnesses. All of the fall protection equipment was appropriate for the tasks involved and functioning properly.
- The two workers were working close to each other and advancing along the walkway attaching the steel roof sheeting. They were moving the anchorage of their SRLs as they advanced. The first worker, with his supervisor standing beside him, anchored his SRL by choking a cable around an upright column supporting the roof structure. The worker was approximately 3.5 metres above the ground. The SRL block was lying on the already installed roof sheeting. He extended his lifeline approximately 6 metres from the anchored SRL block, across an open area.
- The worker was working with his back to the SRL block. His movements pulled the SRL block over the edge of the installed sheeting. As it was attached to a vertical column, and not to a horizontal member, the block dropped until its mechanism engaged. This exerted a pulling force on the worker's body and he fell from the work surface. As he was working at a distance farther away from the SRL block than the distance of the height of the work surface, he hit the ground, and suffered fatal injuries.
- The Court found that the SRL had not been attached to a fixed support, and that the length of the extended lifeline, over an open area, was not a safe configuration of the fall protection equipment.