Safety Failures Lead to Tragic Fatality and Hefty Fines for Countertop Installer
GTA Granite and Marble Countertops Inc., a Toronto-based company specializing in countertop fabrication and installation, faced severe repercussions following a tragic incident in their workplace yard. On October 8, 2021, a worker was fatally injured when struck by a granite slab during an unsafe removal process from the storage rack. This preventable accident has led to a court conviction and a substantial fine, underscoring the critical importance of workplace safety.
The Ontario Court of Justice, through Justice Lori A. Thomas, imposed a $100,000 fine after the company pleaded guilty to failing to adhere to safety protocols. Additionally, the court mandated a 25% victim fine surcharge, contributing to a provincial fund for victims of crime, as stipulated by the Provincial Offences Act.
The incident, which took place at the company’s Milvan Drive location, involved the worker and a director of GTA Granite and Marble Countertops Inc. attempting to retrieve a heavy granite slab using a forklift with a boom attachment. The process required manual effort to position the slab for lifting, during which the slab tipped over, causing fatal injuries to the worker.
Ontario Regulation 851 mandates safe removal of materials from storage to protect worker safety, a regulation the company neglected, resulting in the fatal accident. The Occupational Health and Safety Act’s violation highlights a lapse in ensuring proper safety measures and procedures in the workplace.
In the wake of this incident, GTA Granite and Marble Countertops Inc. has ceased operations. This case serves as a sobering reminder to all industry stakeholders of the paramount importance of safety standards to prevent such tragic occurrences. It is a call to action for businesses within the sector to re-evaluate and reinforce their safety protocols, ensuring the wellbeing of every person on the job.