02/18/2014 12:30 EST | Updated 04/20/2014 05:59 EDT

CSST fines company over death of man crushed by steel plate

Quebec’s workplace health and safety board said a construction company that compromised the safety of its employees will be fined.

The conclusions are part of the CSST’s report looking into the August 2013 death of Saad Syed, which was released to the public today.

Syed, a language teacher at GEOS Language Academy in downtown Montreal, was killed by a steel metal plate that fell at a construction site near the intersection of De La Montagne Street and René-Lévesque Boulevard.

The plate, at 5.03 metres long by 2.90 metres wide, weighed more than a tonne.

The CSST identified poor management of health and safety with respect to the lifting and handling of steel plates as one of the root causes of the accident.

It said a worker from Excavation L. Martel Inc. picked up the steel plate vertically with a hydraulic excavator by inserting a hook into the plate’s exhaust opening. A chain of events led to the plate toppling over and crushing Syed. 

The CSST said the fines generally issued to companies on their first offence range from $15,698 to $62,790; subsequent infractions can incur fines of up to $156,976.

The organization said certain security precautions need to be implemented to avoid future accidents like the one that killed Syed.

It specifically mentioned using locking hooks with security latches so that materials such as metal plates cannot fall off.

In 2012 alone, 75 Quebecers lost their lives in workplace accidents.