An elevator contractor in Nova Scotia has been found not guilty of occupational health and safety violations. They had been charged for failing to take proper safety precautions for an incident in which an elevator motor weighing more than two tonnes fell onto a construction worker named Joachim Antonio. The accident left the scaffold foreman trapped under the motor, and he was left with a broken femur and a number of serious lacerations.
The accident occurred on March 19, 2013 at the site of the former Citadel Inn in downtown Halifax. Antonio worked for Safway Services Canada, which had contracted Vertical Transport Elevator Consulting Ltd. to provide services related to the elevator construction hoists. After an investigation by provincial safety officials, Vertical Transport was charged with failing to provide safety precautions under the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act. More specifically, The Crown alleged that the company provided inadequate supervision during the installation of the elevator hoists.
For their part, the company denied any responsibility for what happened to Antonio, in part because he wasn’t their employee and they denied that responsibility for even supervising the job. During a five-day trial in April, the court heard that both companies had made several attempts to make sure a Class A mechanic was available at the construction site for the installation and a number of emails, voice mails, and phone records supported that. In the end, Judge Anne Derrick ruled that the Crown had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Vertical Transport was responsible for supervising the job and found the company not guilty.