On-Site Magazine

Fine for Ontario contractor after worker killed in excavator with TOPS removed

February 17, 2021   By On-Site Staff

A contractor has been fined $200,000 for the death of a worker on an underground pipe project in Hamilton, Ont.

A supervisor with McNally Construction Inc. was killed in June 2018 while operating a compact excavator in a pipe roughly 1.8 metres in diameter.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, a mini excavator with its tip over protection system (TOPS) removed was lowered down a shaft and into an underground pipe. The supervisor began operating the machine, but was fatally injured when the tracks on the excavator lifted, pinning the worker between the top of the pipe and parts of the machine.

The ministry said it is not known when or by whom the TOPS were removed, but Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act requires a cab or screen be used on equipment when operating a vehicle exposed to an overhead hazard.

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McNally Construction pleaded guilty in a Hamilton courtroom Feb. 11. It was fined $200,000, plus the customary 25 per cent victim surcharge.


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