Two Site Superintendents & Company Fined $133,000 for Incident at Garage


A construction company was hired to perform work at a garage. Two company site superintendents were supervising insulation of an overhead water pipe. Two workers for a plumbing subcontractor began work insulating the overhead pipes from a scissor lift until they reached an open overhead door, which blocked their progress. They asked one superintendent what to do about the overhead door. He told them not to go near it and that only garage personnel could operate mechanical equipment. The workers continued working on the pipe near the door. A garage worker lowered the door halfway at their request, but didn’t lock it out as required by garage policy. The scissor lift was then moved behind the door. A few minutes later, a mechanic pushed a cart through the open doorway, triggering a sensor and causing the door to open. The door struck the scissor lift and knocked it over, causing both workers to fall to the concrete floor about 20 feet below. One worker suffered blunt head trauma and died several days later; the other suffered broken bones. The construction company was fined $125,000 for failing as a constructor to ensure the safety of workers. The site superintendents were fined $4,000 each for failing to ensure that an overhead garage door couldn’t contact an elevated work platform upon which two workers were working [Matheson Constructors Ltd., Phil Lindsay and Karl Jedan, Govt. News Release, Aug. 6, 2015].