Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (June 2016)

A worker at a construction site in Parkhill, Alberta a neighbourhood in Southwest Calgary, has died following injuries sustained in a fall on May 3, 2016.

The employee of Vedas General Contracting Ltd. being on the scaffolding at the site when he fell about 7 1/2 metres to the ground, according to Alberta Ministry of Labour (MOL) spokesperson Lauren Welsh. “He was transported to hospital, where he passed away.”

Welsh confirms that the incident happened at around 2 PM and that the worker was in his 50s. Safety officials are investigating the incident, and the MO well issued a stop-work order. It is unclear, at press time, whether the man was wearing fall-protection equipment prior to his fall. “That is definitely something we are investigating,” Welsh adds.

My opinion

I would that the worker was not wearing fall protection. He/she may have been wearing appropriate fall protection nut was definitely not adequately tied off. Either way, the company is fully liable.

In Ontario, there are six criteria, when on a construction site, that a worker MUST be protected from the possibility of a fall.

Section 26 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 states,

“Where a worker may be exposed to any of the following hazards:

  1. Falling more than 3 metres.
  2. Falling more than 1.2 metres, if the work area is used as a path for a wheelbarrow or similar equipment.
  3. Falling into operating machinery.
  4. Falling into water or another liquid.
  5. Falling into or onto a hazardous substance or object.
  6. Falling through an opening on a work surface.”

Obviously, 7.5 metres fall into this category. Too bad the employer did not see fit to better protect its worker. Falls are all too common on a construction site, in all provinces, and a falls can change the life of lives of many people, not only the fallen worker. Families are hit very hard when workers are killed or critically injured.

Everyone deserves to be safe on the job!

Fall Protection may have helped but proper supervision is necessary as well.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Fall Protection’ and ‘Working at Heights’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.