On-Site Magazine

Major fine for Ontario contractor after worker killed in incident involving improper rigging

By On-Site Staff   

Health & Safety

A worker death on a construction site in Listowel, Ont. has resulted in a fine of $150,000 for Kurtis Smith Excavating Inc. after a guilty plea in court Nov. 26.

The incident took place in May 2018 when three workers, one operating an excavator, were installing four metal bollards around a wellhead, the Ministry of Labour said.

Three of the 725-kilogram (1,600-pound) protective posts were installed without issue, but because of space constraints, the workers used a metal chain attached to the excavator to hoist the final bollard into a four-foot excavation. One worker was in the hole when the bollard slipped off the chain and fell into the excavation. The worker was struck and killed.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined none of the three workers had received hoisting or rigging training and that the metal chain used was not designed for hoisting.


The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires “A container, sling or similar device” be used for rigging or hoisting.


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