Owner of Somerset House faces charges

The owner of Somerset House, the Centretown building which collapsed last year, is now facing charges under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Officials of TKS Holdings Inc., the corporate owner of the Somerset House Hotel on the southeast corner of Bank and Somerset streets, are due to appear in Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa on Jan. 17.They face up to 13 charges laid by the Ministry of Labour.

The three-storey building that housed the Duke of Somerset pub partially collapsed on Oct. 19 last year, trapping a worker inside a Bobcat for an hour.

The company is charged as an employer for failing to ensure the roof and supports in the workplace were strong enough to support applied loads, provide safety instruction to protect the health and safety of a worker, and prepare a health and safety policy and develop and maintain a program to implement it. '

The company also faces charges as a constructor in relation to work-site safety, including failure to provide adequate guardrails or adequate lighting in work areas, exits and entrances.

A supervisor has also been charged for not taking precautions to protect workers or advise them of the risks of working on the site.