Canadian Contractor

Alec Caldwell   

Another residential roofer takes a plunge

Canadian Contractor

Look at the photograph in this article. Clearly, the ladder the worker was using does not extend the legal 3-feet above the eavestrough

1297884050268_original-wdpYet another residential roofer has taken a plunge. And he suffered critical injuries.

On Oct. 4, an unidentified individual was taken by air ambulance to a Toronto trauma centre with head injuries.  At time of writing, it was unclear whether he had fallen from the roof pictured here… or from the ladder. The address was 276 Crawford Street, Orillia, ON.

Patrick Bales of the Orillia Packet & Times reported that the advertising sign at the residence said Roofing For Less.

Less what? Less safety?


The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) is investigating, as they always do in such cases.

The fact is, the worker fell. Obviously he was properly tied off – or tied off at all – by a fall restraint or fall arrest system.

How many times does this have to happen? Another company NOT protecting a worker and not following the MOL’s new Working at Heights safety standard.

It’s the responsibility of all contracting firm owners to make sure everyone wears protective fall equipment. And to take every precaution reasonable to protect workers from other hazards, too. Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1990, c. O, 1, s. 27.

Looking at the ladder in the photo, it’s obvious it does not extend 3 feet (900 millimeters) above the landing surface, as required under the Act. Nor does not it meet the Working at Heights Standard. Act O. Reg. 213/91, s. 80.

You might think the “three feet rule” is a mere DETAIL. Some detail: The idea of the 3 feet is to allow workers something to grab onto, while transferring on and off the ladder. Not paying attention to that detail can result in death – or life in wheelchair.

The photo shown is courtesy of Patrick Bales/Orillia Packet & Times and you can read more of their article here.

Talk to CARAHS about their approved Ministry of Labour Working at Heights training. See our October Special 

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1 Comment » for Another residential roofer takes a plunge
  1. Chris Langman says:

    It is the responsibility of the individual to protect themselves against harm. Nobody can safely climb a ladder for you, nor can an employer ensure the use of safety equiptment if they aren’t present on the site.
    I realize this is contradictory to our laws, but it is sound common sense.

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