06/27/2012 04:17 EDT | Updated 08/27/2012 05:12 EDT

Two Construction Firms Fined In CHUM Accident


Quebec's workplace safety board is fining two construction firms working on the French superhospital site in downtown after a dramatic accident earlier this year.

In January, a block of ice fell ten storeys and struck a 56-year-old worker on the head at the CHUM site. The worker suffered serious injuries but survived the incident.

The workplace safety board imposed the fines after an investigation found Consortium Pomerleau-Verreault and Les Constructions L.J.P. did not establish a security perimeter on the work site.

Fines can vary between $15,420 to $61,680 for the first infraction and $30,840 to $154,200 for a second offence.

According to reports from the safety board, workers on the 14th floor had moved a tarp and ice on top of it fell, striking the employee who was installing windows on the fourth floor.

The board estimates the block of ice could have reached a speed of 100 km/h before hitting the man.

Guy Martin, spokesman for the Quebec Federation of Labour does not believe fines are enough to punish the construction companies.

"Fifty-three people died last year. All of those 53 persons have families," said Martin. "If there were 53 firemen dead, you would have the whole world behind them."