Coco Paving fined $325,000 after worker fatality

Coco Paving, a construction company known to do work in Durham Region and Kawartha Lakes, has been fined $325,000 following a 2015 incident that resulted in the death of an employee.

According to the Ministry of Labour, the Nov. 2, 2015 incident took place during a road reconstruction project on Highway 7 near Sciberras Road in Markham.

In a court bulletin issued Wednesday (Oct. 17), the Ministry stated Coco Paving Inc., based at 949 Wilson Ave., Toronto, was upgrading watermains buried under Highway 7 as part of a larger road-widening project. An employee was reportedly working alone welding two sections of steel casing — totalling about 50 feet and 5,400 pounds — on the north shoulder of the highway, when a forklift approached to lift and rotate the casing to complete the weld.

“The steel casing suddenly became dislodged from its wooden support and started to roll into a six-foot ditch,” reads the bulletin from the Ministry, in part.

“The casing rolled onto the worker, who became pinned in the ditch under the casing. The worker later succumbed to the injuries.”

Coco Paving was convicted on Sept. 28 and sentenced on Oct. 15, following a trial. In addition to the $325,000 fine, the court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge. The surcharge, required by the Provincial Offences Act, goes towards helping victims of crime.

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