Work orders issued to 173 King after fatal incident

173 King st. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

Following the events of the death of 23-year-old Nick Lalonde, the Ontario Ministry of Labour has issued stop work orders against the property management group through which he was employed.

Lalonde was an employee of Central Construction and was installing masonry blocks on the twelfth floor of a student housing building at 173 King St.. On Oct. 11, a crane was moving a skid of bricks when one of the bricks hit the worker.

The blow caused Lalonde — who was not tied on — to lose balance and fall several stories and land on a platform.

The fall was fatal.

Lalonde, who was a London Ontario native, now leaves behind a 19-month-old daughter, according to a London radio station.

The Ministry of Labour has been involved since the incident occured.
“At approximately 12:00 p.m., the Ministry of Labour was notified of a workplace accident that occurred,” explained Matt Blajer, a spokesman for the Ministry. “Emergency medical services were dispatched and attended the scene.”

The coroner’s office attended the location and confirmed that the injured worked died as a result of the injuries sustained.

Now, the inspector has issued 17 orders to Maison Canada, a property management company in Waterloo that manages the property Lalonde was working on.

This includes five stop work orders ­­— three of which were lifted Wednesday night —along with an order to not disturb the scene from
Blajer explained the orders against the Waterloo based property, which includes the requirement to establish a joint health and safety committee as well as not using the mast climber scaffold platform.

“Until the constructor ensures it does not have any unguarded openings,” Blajer said.

There is also an order to have an adequate guardrail system or covering in place to prevent a worker from falling through floor openings.

Handrails, stairs, and ramps are also being installed at specific locations.

Maison Canada President, Borz Fariborzi has offered his condolences to Lalonde’s friends and family, working with the Ministry of Labour to investigate what caused the tragic death.

He was not available to comment further on the subject.

A tribute of flowers has been left on the site where Lalonde had died, as well as a photograph of the worker.

Social media has also been quite involved since the incident, with many showing their support and condolences to Lalonde’s family.

On Friday, Wilfrid Laurier University was notified that an ORNGE air ambulance was arriving for Lalonde. Special Constable Services (SCS) evacuated alumni field and the surrounding areas for the helicopter. Laurier president Max Blouw also spoke to officials at the scene of 173 King St., as well as to students who witnessed the incident.

Lalonde was never on board the air ambulance.

Waterloo Region Labour Council spoke to CTV Kitchener last week, saying that they believe Ontario has good legislation to protect workers, but said that workers should know their rights.

“The problem is that a lot of workers are unaware of these powers,” Marx Xuereb told CTV. “That’s a big reason of why we see so many work place injuries and deaths across Ontario.”

The Ministry of Labour was back on the scene Tuesday, looking further into the incident.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Blajer said.

A funeral for Lalonde occurred Wednesday in London at Memorial Funeral Home.

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