Construction to resume at Claridge Icon condo tower 6 weeks after worker killed

Work to build a condominium tower on Preston Street is set to resume Friday or Monday, about six weeks after a 25-year-old construction worker was killed by a large chunk of ice that fell from the walls of a deep pit.

Ministry of Labour investigation into Olivier Bruneau's death ongoing; no charges laid so far

Workers appeared to be setting up scaffolding at the Claridge Icon construction site on Preston Street Friday morning. A stop-work order has recently been lifted, about six weeks after 25-year-old Olivier Bruneau was killed by a chunk of ice that fell on him as he worked at the site. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

Work to build a condominium tower on Preston Street is set to resume Friday or Monday, about six weeks after a 25-year-old construction worker was killed by a large chunk of ice that fell from the walls of a deep pit.

Olivier Bruneau was working on the foundation of the Claridge Icon condominium building at 505 Preston St. on the morning of March 23 when a 12-metre-long mass of ice slid off the wall and crashed to the bottom of the pit.

Bruneau was conscious when paramedics arrived, but soon began to slip in and out of consciousness and eventually lost vital signs as he was being lifted out of the pit.

After his death, Ontario's Ministry of Labour halted construction at the site and issued nine orders for Claridge and Bellai Brothers Construction Ltd., the company that employed Bruneau, to comply with.

Claridge was ordered to:

  • Ensure that walls of the excavation site be stripped of loose rock or other material that could slide, roll, or fall onto workers.
  • Submit a plan, to be reviewed by the ministry, about how the constructor would remove ice buildup on the walls of the excavation site before workers enter the site's lower level.
  • Provide documents about the site plan and safety talks relating to falling ice.

Bellai Brothers Construction Ltd. was ordered to:

  • Provide documents about the employment of Bruneau.
  • Ensure all equipment is used in accordance with operating manuals issued by their manufacturer.
  • Ensure precautions are used to prevent workers from falling, i.e., install a guardrail system.
  • Ensure precautions are used to prevent workers from falling through any openings on work surfaces. A protective covering that completely covers the opening shall be securely fastened and identified.
  • Place ladders on a firm footing.
  • Ensure that no productive work takes place until all orders have been complied with.

All of the orders have since been resolved and the stop-work order has now been lifted, the ministry said Friday in an email.

The ministry's investigation into Bruneau's death is ongoing. The organization has until March 23, 2017, to lay any charges, if necessary.

"The length of an investigation will depend on the complexities of the case. If prosecution for violations of the [Occupational Health and Safety Act] is warranted, charges will be laid within one year of the date of the offence," the ministry said.