Ottawa-based Swing N Scaff Inc., the supplier of a swing stage that was at the center of the deadly Christmas Eve scaffolding collapse in Toronto in 2009, has pleaded guilty to an Occupational Health and Safety Act violation for failing to ensure the platform was in good condition. As a result, they were fined $350,000.
In addition to that penalty, a company director, Patrick Deschamps, also pleaded guilty to the same charge, as well as one for failing to make sure the scaffolding was designed by a professional engineer. He was personally fined $50,000.
Back on December 24, 2009, six migrant workers from Eastern Europe, all of whom were employees of Toronto-based Metron Construction Corporation, were in the process of restoring the balconies on an apartment building in Toronto. All six we’re working from a swing stage that was built for two people when the scaffold collapsed, sending four of the workers plummeting 13 storeys to their deaths.
In a previous proceeding in 2012, Metron Construction Corp., pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death. The company was fined $750,000 as a result. That case marked the first time Ontario’s Criminal Code was used to hold a company responsible for a worker’s death. Subsequently, a director of Metron was also fined $90,000 four OHS Act convictions.
The fine against Swing N Scaff Inc. was imposed by Judge Mara B. Greene, and a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge was added to every one of the fines against those responsible.