1 person, 2 companies face charges in London, Ont. building collapse

Onlookers survey the scene of a building collapse in London, Ontario on Friday, December 11, 2020. Geoff Robins / The Canadian Press

An unidentified individual and two Ontario-based companies are facing several workplace safety charges in relation to last year’s fatal building collapse in London, Ont.

Two people died and several others were hospitalized following the partial building collapse at 555 Teeple Terr., a construction site for an upcoming southwest London apartment building called the Nest on Wonderland.

The collapse took place on Dec. 11, 2020 and funerals were held for Henry Harder and John Martens days later.

In an email to Global News, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development says East Elgin Concrete Forming Ltd., iSpan Systems LP and an unidentified individual face a combined total of eight charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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East Elgin Concrete Forming Ltd., a Tillsonburg-based company, faces one count of failing to “provide information, instruction, and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of a worker, at a workplace located in London, Ontario.”

iSpan Systems LP, a cold-formed steel framing systems manufacturer and supplier based in Princeton, Ont., faces six charges, the bulk of which relate to failing to meet various construction design provisions under the act.

The company is also charged with failing to “ensure that a building, structure or any part thereof, or any other part of a workplace, whether temporary or permanent, is capable of supporting any loads that may be applied to it in accordance with good engineering practice.”

The unidentified individual faces one count of “providing advice negligently or incompetently that did endanger a worker at a workplace.”

In a statement to Global News, Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says his ministry has completed its investigation into last year’s partial building collapse.

“Any company in Ontario that thinks worker safety is just the cost of doing business should think twice because they will quickly feel the full force of the law,” McNaughton said.

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“We owe it to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims to ensure something like this never happens again.”

Global News reached out to both of the accused companies for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

A first court appearance in relation to the charges has been scheduled for Jan. 11, 2022.

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