Contractor fined $20,000 for storage barn collapse

By Standard Staff

A Grimsby contractor who was in charge of construction of a storage barn which collapsed while being built has been fined $20,000 after being found guilty of violating provisions of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The partially-built wood-frame barn, which was being erected on a residential farm property at 3357 Regional Road 23 in West Lincoln, collapsed on Nov. 24, 2014.

The property owner had hired Tom Ivezic to undertake the construction of the storage barn, which was about 36 metres long and 20 metres wide.

At the time of the collapse, the four walls and the roof of the storage barn had been erected on top of the structure’s concrete foundation. However, none of the walls had been braced to prevent their movement or collapse, and the anchor bolts connecting the walls to the foundation had not been secured, according to a release from the court.

Ivezic failed to meet a number of requirements, said the court. He failed to file a notice of project relating to the construction of the storage barn, and failed, as a constructor, to give notice in writing to a Ministry of Labour inspector within two days of the structural failure of the barn, as required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Following the barn’s collapse, Ivezic failed to furnish all necessary assistance to facilitate an investigation by a Ministry of Labour inspector; over the course of several months, the inspector made multiple attempts to contact Ivezic, and left him multiple messages but received no response, said the court.

The fine was handed down by Justice of the Peace Dan La Caprara in Welland on Feb. 9. 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.