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Worker tumbled to death when overhead mobile crane was moved

Toronto, ON -- June 28, 2002 -- Ferguson Heating Equipment Ltd., a Toronto-based company which installs and repairs...


Toronto, ON — June 28, 2002 — Ferguson Heating Equipment Ltd., a Toronto-based company which installs and repairs heating and cooling systems and which carries on business as Ferguson Heating and Cooling, was fined $125,000 last week for a violation of the Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in the death of an employee.

On May 29, 2000, a worker was on a catwalk on an overhead mobile crane in a customer’s plant when another worker, unaware anyone was on the catwalk, attempted to move the crane to another location. The worker on the catwalk fell about 7.6 metres (25 ft) to the ground and died later that day as a result of injuries.

An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation found the deceased worker was not wearing a fall arrest system and there was no guardrail on the catwalk’s west side. The incident occurred at a plant on Warden Ave. in Toronto.

The deceased worker was employed by Ferguson while the worker who tried to move the crane was employed by the company which operated the plant where the incident occurred. The company had retained Ferguson to do the roof heater work.

Ferguson Heating Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure the worker on the catwalk wore a fall arrest system when exposed to the hazard of falling more than three metres (9.8 ft), as prescribed by Section 85 of the Regulations for Industrial Establishments. The fine was imposed by Justice Edward Ormston of the Ontario Court of Justice at Old City Hall in Toronto.