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Swing N Scaff Inc. and company director fined a total of $400,000 in deaths of four workers

Last January, I wrote about fatalities at work, and in particular, the Metron Construction and Swartz decisions. Since then, there has been some developments.

On December 4, 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour announcedthat Swing N Scaff Inc., the Ottawa-based company that supplied the swing stage platform that collapsed on December 24, 2009, resulting in the deaths of four workers and significant injuries to another, has been fined $350,000. Moreover, Swing N Scaff Inc. pleaded guilty for failing to ensure that a suspended platform and/or a component supplied to Metron Construction Corporation was in good condition.

One of its directors, Patrick Deschamps, pleaded guilty to failing to take all reasonable care to ensure the platform was in good condition and that it was designed by a professional engineer and was fined $50,000. Moreover, that the platform weighing more than 525 kilograms was designed by a professional engineer in accordance with good engineering practice.

In 2009, the workers were employed by Metron Construction Corporation of Toronto and were conducting balcony restoration on an apartment building in Toronto just prior to the accident.

In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25 percent 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 spokesman for the Ministry of Labour says criminal and occupational health and safety charges against a Metron supervisor are still outstanding.

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Christina Catenacci

Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002 and has since been a member of the Ontario Bar Association. Christina worked as an editor with First Reference between February 2005 and August 2015, working on publications including The Human Resources Advisor (Ontario, Western and Atlantic editions), HRinfodesk discussing topics in Labour and Employment Law. Christina has decided to pursue a PhD at the University of Western Ontario beginning in the fall of 2015. Read more
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