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Chelmsford Home Hardware fined $55K after worker falls through skylight

Employee was clearing snow from a shed on the yard when he fell about 11 feet, suffering injuries
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The owner of the Home Hardware Building Centre in Chelmsford has been fined $55,000 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker who was removing snow from the roof of a shed fell through a skylight in February 2019.

North West Lumber Co. Ltd., which operates the Home Hardware in Chelmsford, pleaded guilty in provincial offences court and was fined $55,000 plus a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge for failing as an employer to ensure measures and procedures were carried out in a workplace. 

The Ministry of Labour reported that on Feb. 27, 2019, a yard supervisor at the Errington Avenue location assembled two employees of NWL for the purpose of removing the accumulated snow load to prevent further structural damage to the building. 

Throughout the course of the day, one of the three employees stepped on a skylight on the roof of the shed, broke through and fell about 11 feet to the ground below, suffering injuries as a result.

None of the employees clearing snow that day were wearing any type of fall protection equipment and no guardrails were in place at the roof edge or around the skylights, the ministry said the investigation revealed. There had been no discussion of fall protection at the morning meeting and no fall protection equipment was provided to the workers, the report states.

Procedures under section 85(a) of Regulation 851 requires workers to use a safety belt or harness and lifeline when exposed to the hazard of falling more than three metres.



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