Lack of fall protection in South Okanagan proves costly to building firms
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October 24, 2017 - 6:30 PM
PENTICTON - Worksafe B.C. penalized two companies working in the South Okanagan after discovering workers were without adequate fall protection in high-risk situations.
Pacific West Systems Supply Ltd. was delivering supplies of drywall to a fifth-floor balcony at a Penticton high-rise construction site when a Worksafe B.C. inspector observed a worker dismantling a temporary wooden guardrail. The worker removed the top and middle rails even though it was practicable to perform the work without removing the protective barriers.
Another worker was also observed approaching the same unguarded edge. Neither worker had personal fall protection gear, while exposing themselves to a possible fall of 45 feet, according to the Worksafe B.C. report.
Worksafe says the firm’s failure to ensure a fall protection system was used was a repeated and high-risk violation and imposed a fine of more than $66,600. The fine was imposed on Aug. 29 and is in the process of an appeal.
Circle Developments Ltd. was fined more than $7,000 on Sept. 15 for installing a deck membrane at a multi-storey apartment building in Osoyoos where it was determined a worker and been working on a fourth-floor balcony without a fall protection system, the report says.
Guardrails had been removed and no other form of protection had been put in its place. The worker could have fallen 39-feet.
Worksafe B.C. considered the firm’s failure to ensure fall protection a high-risk violation.
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