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Operator of Brechin quarry fined after worker falls from catwalk

James Dick Construction has been fined $65,000; The catwalk 'had previously been identified as requiring maintenance,' notes court document

The operator of a Brechin quarry has been fined $65,000 in the wake of an employee injury that was due to improper equipment maintenance, a court has ruled.

On June 3, 2019, an employee at the limestone quarry operated by James Dick Construction Limited was making repairs to rubber skirts of a screen in a lower feed hopper.  

While performing the work, the catwalk the worker was standing on gave way and the worker fell about 15 feet to the quarry material below. The worker suffered injuries, noted a court ruling released April 7.

“The catwalk had not been maintained in a safe condition,” notes the court in its release.

Inspection of the catwalk after the incident showed that the steel in the floor grating, toe board and handrails had deteriorated. 

The catwalks at the Ramara quarry had previously been identified as requiring maintenance.

Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) states that an employer shall ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the act and regulations are complied with. 

Section 54(1)(a) of the Regulation for Mines and Mining Plants (Regulation 854) states that a walkway, stairway or ladderway shall be maintained in a safe condition.

James Dick Construction failed as an employer to ensure the measures and procedures prescribed by section 54(1)(a) of the regulation were complied with, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the OHSA. This is an offence contrary to section 66(1) of the act.

As a result of that offence, James Dick Construction was fined $65,000.

The court also imposed a 25-per-cent 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.

The quarry, located at 2324 Concession A in Ramara Township, is one of several operated by James Dick Construction throughout Ontario.