Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Highrise scaffolding concerns halted work for months

read full article at the Toronto Star
Provincial records show the ministry gave Metron three more orders on Dec. 17 to ensure the swing stage was finally safe for workers.
One order was to ensure that every part of the project be outfitted "to support or resist all loads and forces to which it is likely to be subjected without exceeding the allowable unit stress for each material used." Another was to "provide guardrails to work platform being used for access to swing stage near the parking garages."
Until those orders were completed, the ministry stated, "no productive work can be carried out from the swing stage."
Later on Dec. 17, a ministry inspector returned to the site for a reinspection of compliance.
"Compliance achieved, stop work order lifted," a report concluded.
On Dec. 29, five days after the accident, the ministry issued a series of future orders, including a demand for copies of all contracts related to the work site and an outline of Metron's health and safety policy, records for "fall protection training of workers" and a list of all workers on site at the time of the deaths.
Meanwhile, Dilshod Mamurov, 21, the lone survivor of the accident, remained heavily medicated in Sunnybrook Hospital and unaware on Wednesday of the deaths of his co-workers.
Mamurov suffered broken legs and a shattered spine in the fall.
He has no family in Canada and still doesn't know that a friend from Uzbekistan was killed, said Bakhtier Shakhnazarov, a member of the local Uzbek community.
Michael Yorke, president of Carpenters' Union Local 27, said he's convinced the men wouldn't have died had proper workplace protocols been observed at the Kipling site, just south of Steeles Ave. W.
"We believe that this was a preventable accident," Yorke said. "None of the workers were tied down with a lifeline."
Labour Minister Peter Fonseca wasn't available for comment on Wednesday, after Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, called for a criminal probe into the construction accident.
Ryan called on the province to stop "carnage in the workplace," noting that the Criminal Code allows for charges to be laid when there is evidence of negligence causing death or harm to workers.

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