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Scaffold collapse trial hears testimony from injured worker

01/22/2015 06:11 EST | Updated 03/24/2015 05:59 EDT
Five years after he was seriously injured in a workplace accident, Dilshod Marupov told a Toronto court he was given less than an hour of safety training before he was sent up a high-rise building to repair its balconies. 

Marupov was 21 and had only been in Canada for three months when someone offered him the welding job. 

He told the court, through an Uzbeki translator, he had never worked at such heights on swing-stage scaffolds, and was given a quick safety lesson that morning.

"How to put on a harness and when we went to the stage, how to go up and how to go down, and how to connect the rope. Within 25 to 30 minutes, he gave me those instructions," Marupov said. 

The next day, Dec. 24, Marupov and five others were on a swing stage 13 storeys up when it snapped in two. Four men fell to their deaths. The fifth was secured to one of two safety harnesses and was unhurt.

Marupov was partially secured by a harness but his spine and ribs were fractured. 

"That day disappeared from my memory. I opened my eyes and people surrounding me, asking me 'Are you OK?'" he testified.  

Marupov said he was in "serious pain, nothing but pain."

Company pleaded guilty

Project manager VadimKazenelson has been charged with four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

The Crown attorney contends he ignored safety concerns and was pushing the crews to finish the job before the new year.

The company he worked for, Metron Construction, was fined $750,000 and pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death three years ago.

Kazenelson's lawyer will continue to cross-examine Marupov tomorrow. The only uninjured worker who was on the scaffold will testify on Monday.

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