February 8, 2021
Convicted: Rafat General Contracting Inc., 8850 George Bolton Parkway, Bolton, Ontario, a company that provides excavation, demolition and other services to the construction industry.
Location of Worksite: A multi-storey building at 720-728 Yonge Street in Toronto that was being renovated.
Description of Offence: A steel structure assembly collapsed, injuring a worker who was doing work in an existing vacant building.
Date of Offence: March 2, 2017.
Date of Conviction: February 5, 2020; sentencing delayed until January 11, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Following a trial, Rafat General Contracting Inc. was fined $50,000 by The Honourable Mr. Justice Steven R. Clark of the Ontario Court of Justice, Old City Hall, Toronto; Crown Counsel Shantanu Roy.
- 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.
- A multi-storey building in Toronto was being renovated. Rafat General Contracting was hired to perform work to demolish and dismantle parts of the interior from the third floor down to the basement, and to clean up and remove all debris.
- As work was being done in the basement, a horizontal steel beam was in place on what was the ceiling of the basement floor supporting part of the floor of the first floor.
- The supervisor of the company noticed the west end of the steel beam was resting on a steel plate on top of the steel column, but was not connected. The east end of the beam, however, was connected by bolts to another steel column.
- The supervisor used the bucket of a mini excavator belonging to the company to push the west end of the steel beam and to move it off the steel plate, and then lowered the west end of the beam to the concrete floor below.
- The east end of the horizontal beam remained connected to its vertical steel column, which remained in an upright position.
- Shortly thereafter, the steel assembly collapsed, striking a worker and pinning the worker under the collapsed structure.
- The injured worker sustained serious injuries.
- Section 31(1)(b) of the Construction Projects Regulation (Regulation 213/91) states that “every part of a project, including a temporary structure, shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect stability or cause its failure or collapse.” Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers are required to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the legislation are carried out [(section 25(1)(c)].