Kelowna firms fined after scaffold failures seriously injure workers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna firms fined after scaffold failures seriously injure workers

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Two Kelowna companies have been fined $20,000 in two separate instances where scaffolding failed and workers were seriously injured.

Rebo Beton Pumping was fined $14,868 by WorkSafe B.C. after a worker fell into an excavation site while pumping concrete.

According to a WorkSafe B.C. decision, Rebo Beton Pumping was pouring the concrete for the construction of a new house.

"One of the firm's workers accessed a wood frame scaffold inside an excavation to place the concrete with a concrete line hose," the decision says. "The scaffold failed and the worker fell into the excavation, sustaining serious injuries."

WorkSafe B.C. then inspected the site and found the scaffolding was missing guardrails and had not been erected correctly. The excavation work had also not been done in accordance with regulations and without the instructions of a qualified professional.

WorkSafe B.C. found the company has not conducted a hazard assessment related to the scaffold or the excavation.

The scaffolding had been erected by another firm, but WorkSafe B.C. pointed out Rebo Beton Pumping failed to ensure that it was safe, regardless of who installed it.

In a separate incident, Kelowna company Premier Craft Homes was fined $5,279 after a worker was seriously injured when scaffolding failed while pouring concrete for the foundation of a new house.

"WorkSafe B.C. inspected the site and observed that the scaffold and formwork had been installed in an unsupported excavation with near-vertical cut sides and a depth of about 2.7 metres," a WorkSafe B.C. decision says.

"The excavation work had not been done in accordance with the written instructions of a qualified professional. The firm failed to ensure that, prior to worker entry, excavations were sloped, benched, shored, or otherwise supported as required."

WorkSafe B.C. goes on to say this was a high-risk violation.

The regulator also found that the company failed to provide its workers with the instruction and training regarding health and safety and says this is a repeated violation.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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