Shotcrete firm fined after worker killed falling into hopper on Toronto job site
July 10, 2019 by On-Site Staff
TORONTO—A British Columbia-based shotcrete service company is facing a $130,000 fine for an incident that left one worker dead on a Toronto condo construction site in January 2017.
While there were no eyewitnesses to the incident in the city’s Beaches neighbourhood, a worker with Torrent Shotcrete Canada Ltd. was killed after falling into the hopper of a concrete pumper while the concrete augur was running.
The worker had been tasked with cleaning the hopper at the end of the workday using a power chisel after crews had been shotcreting the walls of an excavated area earlier.
How the worker fell into the hopper is unknown, but an investigation determined the equipment included a grate that would normally have prevented access to the hopper while the auger was running. A sensor connected to the grate was intended to cut off power to the machine when the grate was opened. This safety feature, however, had been rendered inoperative by a metal washer taped onto it and through alterations to the sensor’s wiring. These changes allowed the auger to continue running when grate was open, the Ministry of Labour said.
Torrent Shotcrete pleaded guilty to contravening the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to ensure the sensor and grate were working as intended.
The company faces a $130,000 fine, plus a standard 25 per cent victim surcharge imposed by the province.