Belleville roofer forced out of construction industry following multiple safety violations

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A Belleville roofer who has been convicted of multiple safety violations can no longer work in the industry, according to the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

Steven Bell, a sole proprietor of a local roofing company, was most recently convicted in relation to a residential roofing project in Trenton.

According to a media release from the ministry, on Sept. 5, 2020, a worker was observed by a ministry inspector working on a pitched roof without wearing fall protection, as required by law.

“Fall protection contraventions are considered one of the ‘killer contraventions’ in Ontario and are treated seriously by the ministry,” the release reads.

Bell was convicted on Nov. 27, 2023 following a guilty plea in the Ontario Court of Justice in Belleville. He was given a suspended sentence, subject to a probationary order, which strips him of the right to work or employ anyone, directly or indirectly, in the construction industry.

Justice of the Peace was Andrew I. Seymour presided over this matter, with Neil Gobardhan acting as Crown counsel.

Bell had four previous convictions under the act, detailed below:

1) On March 11, 2013, a ministry inspector observed three roofers in Belleville, employed by Bell, working at a height of more than three metres without being protected by fall protection. There were no injuries. The $2,000 fine for that conviction has not been paid.

2) On Nov. 16, 2013, a ministry inspector observed four roofers in Belleville, employed by Bell, working at a height of more than three metres without being protected by fall protection. There were no injuries. A $4,500 fine was levied, of which $900 remains unpaid.

3) On Oct. 7, 2015, a ministry inspector observed a roofer in the City of Quinte West, employed by Bell, working at a height of more than three metres without being protected by fall protection. There were no injuries. For that offence, Bell was sentenced to one day of imprisonment and fined $10,000, which has not been paid.

4) On July 22, 2017, a ministry inspector observed a roofer in Belleville, who was employed by Bell, working at a height of more than three metres without being protected by fall protection. There were no injuries. For that offence, Bell was sentenced to seven days of imprisonment.

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