Windsor company fined $175K after death of worker
WINDSOR -- A Windsor company has been fined $175,000 in the death of an employee.
In Provincial Offences court on Monday, Prestressed Systems Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to provide proper protections to a worker for the April 2018 death of Michael Cobb.
Court heard Cobb, 24, was killed when he was pinned between a trench wall and a support beam while he was working on a concrete girder.
The Ministry of Labour says PSI failed “to use a wire guide on the de-tensioning end of the cable strands, as required by the manufacturer of the de-tensioning equipment.”
A second worker was also injured but survived a broken orbital facial bone, a broken jaw, broken ribs and a lacerated spleen.
PSI manufactures pre-stressed and pre-cast products like girders for bridges.
On the day of the accident, Cobb was working on a girder for the Nagagami River Bridge project.
Peter Cobb, Michaels’ father read a victim impact statement for the court.
“Putting our grief into words is a difficult task,” Peter Cobb read. “This was a horrible accident with no malicious intent on our son. But companies must be held accountable for the safety of all workers.”
Pat Ducharme, the lawyer for PSI, says the Cobb’s were very “gracious” in how they spoke to the company officials before court.
“Michael was known as a thoughtful, hard-working employee,” Ducharme told Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman.
Ducharme tells CTV News the manufacturer of the equipment is “shocked” by how it failed and since the accident the company flew officials to Windsor for a safety review.
All employees at PSI have taken extra training “with renewed vigor” since the accident, says Ducharme.
Hoffman told the Cobb family the fine of $175,000 “no way it puts a value on your sons’ life.”
PSI has been given one year to pay the fine and the remaining seven charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act have been withdrawn by the Ministry of Labour.