Blog Post #98 – Health & Safety Outside Canada

Blog Post #98 – Health & Safety Outside Canada

I have had the honour of suggesting changes in the Ontario, as well as the rest of Canada, health and safety legislation. The previous 99 blogs deal with Canadian content, specifically those in Ontario.

I thought it appropriate to complete the 100th blog with a recent example of an accident in the Galveston , Texas area. It just goes to show that health and safety is a 24/7 responsibility and occupational accidents have no borders.

I do not know the legislation and what laws are broken and it is my hope that someone from the great state of Texas will fill our readers in. Is it covered under Federal or State law? If I receive any follow-up on this particular incident I will forward it to the readers.

Thank you all for the dedicated readership during the first 100 blogs. The comments number over 6,900 as of today’s date, June 26, 2011 and it is my sincere wish to continue to provide quality blogs on health and safety for a long time to come.

Daniel L. Beal
Senior Trainer for HRS Group Inc.
Vice President

Excerpt from the Galveston paper, “The Daily News”

Falling concrete slab injures Flagship worker
By Chris Paschenko
The Daily News

Published April 27, 2011

GALVESTON – A demolition worker trapped beneath a collapsed concrete slab suffered critical injuries Tuesday, and officials stopped the project to probe what went wrong inside the shell of the Flagship Hotel.

Firefighters responded at 3:40 p.m. to the emergency call of someone trapped by debris from the partial collapse of a 1,000-pound concrete slab at Galveston’s Pleasure Pier, Fire Chief Jeff Smith said.

Smith didn’t release the injured worker’s name, saying only that he knew the man suffered “extremely critical” injuries.

Brandon Williams and his girlfriend, Shereen Premprasad, both of Clear Lake, were eating on the upstairs, beach-front patio at Fish Tales restaurant, directly across from the Flagship, when the slab collapsed.

“I heard a loud boom, a loud crash, and once we looked, we noticed the top floor caved in,” Williams said.

Other workers on the pier rushed to aid the injured man, Williams said.

“A few of them tried pulling debris out, throwing rocks, throwing boulders and stuff out of the way,” Williams said. “Other workers ran to the tool sheds and were going to get concrete cutters to try to save him.”

The couple came to the island on their off day, Premprasad said.

“When I looked across the street, all I saw was debris going everywhere,” Premprasad said. “Seconds later, here comes the ambulance and the firefighters.”

Landry’s owns the Flagship, 2501 Seawall Blvd., which was a seven-story, 225-room hotel before demolition began in February to make room for planned amusement rides.

Ardent, the contractor of record, could have brought in subcontractors to handle the job, and the city was in the process of determining Tuesday what company employed the injured man, city of Galveston spokeswoman Alicia Cahill said.

Crews demolished the hotel to the second floor slab. It rested, partially collapsed, at an angle with the westernmost edge appearing to touch the floor of the pier.

The injured man rested in a void of concrete, Smith said.

“Entrapment time was about 20 minutes, and he had about 1,000 pounds of weight on top of him,” Smith said.

Firefighters used hydraulic tools and pry bars and dug around the worker to free him, Smith said. No other workers were injured.

An ambulance took the man to the University of Texas Medical Branch.

“Our thoughts are with the victim of today’s accident and his family,” Jeff Cantwell, senior vice president of development at Landry’s said in a statement Tuesday night.

The demolition contractor and general contractor were at the site and in control of the activities throughout the demolition process, Cantwell said.

“Landry’s is working closely with the city of Galveston and has suspended all construction work until a thorough investigation is complete,” Cantwell said.

The city issued a stop-work order for the job site until an investigation could reveal what caused the collapse, Cahill said. There is also a danger of another collapse, Smith said.

The city issued the demolition permit in January, but a 60-day extension was granted March 16, Cahill said.

The Flagship opened in 1965. It was occupied until Hurricane Ike’s Sept. 13, 2008, landfall. The storm caused extensive flooding and damaged much of the upper Texas coast. The pier withstood Ike’s storm surge, but its driveway ramp was disconnected from the seawall. The concrete driveway was recently rebuilt



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