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December 31, 2009

VINCE VERSACE

The swing stage that came apart at an apartment building on Kipling Avenue has been removed by the labour ministry.

Metron Construction was issued safety order days before fatal swing stage accident

Seven days prior to a fatal accident that killed four construction workers at a Kipling Avenue apartment work site, Ontario’s labour ministry had concerns with a swing stage at the project.

On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, four workers plunged 13 storeys to their deaths when a swing stage they were working on came apart.

A fifth worker survived the fall, but has serious leg and spinal injuries.

Matt Blajer, Ontario Ministry of Labour spokesman, says the accident was a complex one and the ministry is still investigating.

From Oct. 20 to Dec. 17, 2009, the labour ministry conducted nine field visits to the site at 2757 Kipling Avenue and issued a total of eight orders to Metron Construction Corp to address safety concerns.

Among the orders issued Dec. 17 were that a temporary structure be designed and constructed to support or resist all loads and forces “to which it is likely to be subjected without exceeding the allowable unit stress for each material used.”

There was a temporary structure constructed at the time which did not meet requirements.

Also, Metron was to provide guardrails to a work platform “being used for access to swing stage near the parking garages.” A stop-work order was also issued for use of a swing stage at the site.

A labour ministry inspector returned to the site later on Dec. 17 finding “compliance achieved” and the stop-work order was lifted.

On Oct. 20 Metron was ordered to provide: the “latest drawings for roof anchors and annual inspection report,” proper access to and from the swing stages at the site, wire mesh “securely fastened” from the toe-board to the top of the swing stage guardrails and guardrails near an existing guardrail used to access “the swing stages installation at roof.”

A stop work order was issued “to ensure no productive work can be done on swing stages” until all the orders were complied with and re-inspected by the inspector.

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