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In Association With Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann, & Bernstein, LLP

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Roof worker suffers personal injury after fall; boss to be jailed

Men and women who perform their jobs at heights need to be extra diligent when it comes to workplace safety. They should also have a reasonable expectation that their employers are just as concerned with safety. Unfortunately, sometimes a business owner can be more concerned with his own company than with his or her employees. A southwestern Ontario roofer recently showed a disturbing lack of concern for an employee after he suffered a personal injury on the job, and now the owner is paying the price.

On Aug. 17, 2016, three roofers were at work on top of a two-story residential home in Bayfield, Ontario, a town on the shore of Lake Huron. One of the three workers fell from the roof, a distance of 18 feet, and suffered an injury. An investigation by the Ministry of Labour revealed there were no safety measures being employed for fall protection at the site. Furthermore, the owner, who was one of the three workers, directed the remaining worker to install lifelines and fall protection after the accident occurred.

In court, the owner pleaded guilty to charges of failing to provide adequate protection and attempting to interfere with an inspector. He was fined $5,000 and sentenced to three days in jail. Additionally, a 25 percent victim fine surcharge was levied against him.

Accidents can happen, sometimes despite taking all the proper precautions. When they do happen, and it is found that an inadequate effort was made to prevent the occurrence, someone must be held responsible. An Ontario worker who has suffered a personal injury while on the job should speak to a lawyer about his or her situation. There might be grounds for litigation, and claims for financial relief may be in order.

Source: 640toronto.com, "Dorchester Roofing Company Owner Sentenced After Trying To Interfere In Workplace Accident Investigation", Jacquelyn LeBel, Nov. 7, 2016

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