Domm Construction fined for workplace injury

OWEN SOUND – Domm Construction Ltd., based in Ayton, was fined $75,000 in provincial offences court in Owen Sound, for safety violations that resulted in critical injuries to a worker at a construction site on Oct. 29, 2020. The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge goes into a special fund to assist victims of crime.

The construction company pleaded guilty on June 23; supervisor Shawn Weltz had previously entered a guilty plea.

Justice of the Peace Thomas Stinson heard that on Oct. 29, 2020, four workers employed by Domm were constructing a new barn. While installing “girts” – 16-foot timbers nailed to the inclined rooftop timbers of the roof trusses – one worker went down to get additional girts. On the way back up, the worker stepped on the end of a girt that had not yet been nailed down, and the worker fell approximately 16 feet to the concrete floor of the barn, suffering a critical injury.

An investigation by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development determined Domm had not established or trained workers on a safe procedure for installing girts. Moreover, there was no method of fall protection in place. The workers had personal fall protection harnesses and lanyards at the job site, but none of them were wearing the equipment, and there were no lifelines or retractable lifelines set up on the roof.

The workers had received formal training working at heights, but no site-specific training was provided by the employer.

The court determined Domm Construction Ltd. had failed as an employer to develop and/or implement a safe working procedure for installing girts, and Weltz had failed as a supervisor to ensure workers were protected from falls.

Domm Construction Ltd. is a company that engages in agricultural, commercial, municipal and residential construction.