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Companies charged in fatal drill rig collapse at TTC subway extension project at York University

Peter Small Staff Reporter

The labour ministry has laid charges against two companies in a drill accident on a TTC extension project at York University that killed a young worker a year ago.

Kyle Knox, 24, died last Oct. 11 at the York University construction site when a giant drill rig fell on the loader he operated, crushing the smaller machine and trapping him in the wreckage.

The ministry confirmed Friday it laid four charges Thursday under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, against project constructor OHL-FCC GP Canada Inc. (1842887 Ontario Ltd.).

The company is charged with failing to protect workers in not designing an adequate work platform for the drill rig with the required soil bearing capacity. It’s accused of not ensuring the drill rig was run according to the operator’s manual.

The ministry further accuses the company of failing to ensure the project was constructed to support all likely loads, and of not ensuring the on-site employer, Advanced Construction Techniques Inc., complied with the act.

The ministry charged Advanced Construction Techniques Inc. (1793380 Ontario Ltd) with four charges, in particular failing to protect workers by designing an adequate drill rig work platform with the required soil bearing capacity. The company also neglected to ensure every part of the project could support all likely loads, the ministry alleges.

The ministry further alleges the company failed to ensure the drill rig was operated according to the manual.

The first court appearance is Nov. 1 at 70 Centre Ave. in Toronto.

Maximum penalty for each conviction is a $500,000 fine.

The construction was part of an extension to the Spadina line that will add six new stops. Starting at the existing Downsview station, it will run northwest to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.

TTC communications director Brad Ross wouldn’t comment on the charges, but said the transit authority has “intensified” its safety monitoring since the incident. “We have our own people who go onto the work sites who are making sure that all the contractors have in place any safety measures that need to be there,” he said.

Ministry official William Lin said it would be inappropriate to comment because the matter is before the courts.

With files from Alex Ballingall

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