Okanagan contractors fined $19,000 for unsafe building sites | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan contractors fined $19,000 for unsafe building sites

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Three Okanagan contractors will have to cough up $18,900 in fines after WorkSafeBC inspections discovered multiple safety violations at their building sites.

According to recently published penalty notices, Okanagan Avalanche Construction and Nicholson Exteriors were both found to have unsafe practices that exposed crews to falling at their work sites.

The May 14 penalty notice said at an Okanagan Avalanche Construction site in Lake Country, WorkSafeBC found a worker on the top of a foundation wall without anything in place to prevent the worker from falling.

"WorkSafeBC performed a follow-up inspection the next day and observed a second worker, who was also a supervisor, on the leading edge of the first-floor joists, with no guardrails or any other form of fall protection in place," the notice read.

The workers were exposed to a potential fall of 11 feet and this was a repeated and "high-risk" violation said WorkSafe BC. The firm was fined $9,642.

READ MORE: JONESIE: How Canadian news became victims in its own story

In Kelowna, Nicholson Exteriors were found to have exposed a worker to a fall of about 22 feet as no guardrail or fall protection was in place.

"WorkSafeBC also observed that a ladder being used to access the roof was damaged and was not secured against movement," the notice said.

WorkSafeBC issued a stop work order when at the site.

"The firm failed to ensure fall protection was used, and failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety. These were both high-risk violations," the notice read.

The company was fined $6,719.

Separately, a company in Vernon was hit with a $2,500 fine for failing to get a permit after digging post holes close to a gas line.

The WorkSafeBC notice said Kalco Contracting was installing a fence at a residential complex when it showed up.

"In addition, the firm had not contacted BC One Call to obtain the location of underground utility lines before beginning work," the notice read.

No other information is given in the notices.

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