Court Fines Ottawa Construction Company $70,000 After Backhoe Hits Worker

Ministry of Labour

Convicted: McDonald Brothers Construction Inc., 262 Westbrook Road, Ottawa, Ontario, a construction company that specializes in the industrial, commercial and institutional construction sector.

Location: A construction project at 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa.

Description of Offence: A backhoe struck a worker exiting a portable toilet.

Date of Offence: May 8, 2017.

Date of Conviction: July 25, 2019.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following a guilty plea, McDonald Brothers Construction Inc. was fined $70,000 by Justice of the Peace Karen Baum in Ottawa; Crown Counsel Alicia Gordon-Fagan.
  • The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.


  • In May 2017, McDonald Brothers was the constructor of a project renovating and adding to a multi-story institutional building.
  • On May 8, 2017, a backhoe struck a worker who was exiting a portable toilet. The worker sustained multiple injuries.
  • The Ministry of Labour’s investigation found that the toilet had been placed adjacent to a road used by vehicles.
  • The toilet was also placed at an angle that prevented the backhoe operator and the worker from seeing each other.
  • Section 23(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires a constructor ensure that on a project it undertakes, workers’ health and safety is protected.
  • On May 8, 2017, McDonald Brothers failed as a constructor to ensure that the health and safety of a worker at the project was protected.