Ministry of Labour lays charges in connection with Preston Street work site death

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has laid charges in connection with a workplace incident that killed a 25-year-old man last year.

Olivier Bruneau was killed when he was struck by a large piece of ice that fell from the wall of an excavation site on Preston Street, near Carling, on March 23, 2016. Bruneau was working at the bottom of a 31 meter deep pit at the time. Claridge Homes is building the Claridge Icon tower at the site.

The Ministry launched an investigation and, on Wednesday, laid eight charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in connection with the incident. Two charges each have been laid against Claridge Homes, Bellai Brothers Construction Ltd., and two supervisors.

Charges of failing to ensure safety measures and procedures were carried out have been laid against Claridge and Bellai Brothers. Claridge is also facing a charge of failing to ensure the health and safety of workers on a project site.

Charges of failing to take every reasonable precaution to protect a worker have been laid against Bellai Brothers and each of the two supervisors. The supervisors are also facing one charge each of failing to ensure a worker “works in the manner and with protective devices, measures and procedures” required by the Act.

The first court appearance is scheduled for March 30.

In the immediate days following Bruneau’s death, the Ministry had issued several orders to Claridge and Bellai Brothers before work could resume. In May, the Ministry had said those orders had been complied with.

A criminal investigation was launched by Ottawa Police in June.

Claridge Homes and Bellai Brothers Construction have not responded to CFRA’s request for comment at this time.