On-Site Magazine

Dozer backing into worker on Hwy. 417 job site in Ottawa results in $90K fine

November 7, 2020   By On-Site Staff

A worker injury involving a reversing bulldozer alongside a loud, busy stretch of highway in Ottawa has resulted in a fine of $90,000.

Aecon Construction Ontario East Ltd., a unit of the Aecon Group Inc., pleaded guilty to violating Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in an Ottawa courtroom Oct. 29.

The injury happened in June 2018 when a reversing bulldozer hit a worker who was taking elevation readings on a Highway 417 construction site using a GPS laser.

The worker had walked behind the dozer to find a signal, and though a back-up alarm sounded, it could not be heard over the sound of the highway. The equipment operator had looked over one shoulder before reversing, and stopped upon seeing two other surveyors running toward the dozer. The worker behind the machine had been knocked to the ground, suffering “critical” injuries, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development said.

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An investigation determined the injured worker “would not reasonably have been noticed by the equipment operator while the bulldozer was reversing.” Without line of sight, a signaller is required to safely operate on a job site, Ontario safety regulations stipulate.

Aecon will pay $90,000, plus the customary 25 per cent victim surcharge as a result of the incident.


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