Report from the OH&S Canada magazine

One construction worker died and another was seriously injured in a late-afternoon accident in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on December 10, 2008.

At about 4 pm, the two men were working on a condominium development project when one worker fell approximately six storeys. Bob Fawcett, assistant fire chief with Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services, says the worker landed on another worker who was cleaning up on the ground below.

The worker who fell, an employee of a cement contracting company, succumbed to his injuries; the worker on the ground, employed by Meridian Development, was taken to hospital.

Prior to the accident, Fawcett reports members of the construction crew had put up a form to pour concrete. A crane was used to lift the form to an upright position and the unit was bolted on the bottom. A platform was then extended about two feet from the form wall.

Fawcett says it appears the worker climbed onto the extended platform and when it shifted forward, he was sent plummeting to the ground.

Information from Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Division notes that the method, sequence and rate of a concrete pour must take into consideration ambient temperature, type of concrete used, and factors such as cold weather conditions.

My opinion

In today’s work environment we still see operations that do not list a set of SOPs. (safe operating procedures) A life would have been spared here and another worker would not have been injured.

All hazards in the operation MUST be taken into account and then the work is to be completed by incorporating safe practices into the operation.

All hazards have to be identified and controlled. There are no alternatives! Please ensure you workplace is a safe place for your workers. It does not take much time to research and assess the situation and then to find ways to control the newly noted hazards. If a company has trouble in this area there are many on-line agencies that can help. One of my favourite is the CCOHS. (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety) Check it out!

I have to admit, I see fewer and fewer issues in Saskatchewan. They are learning from their mistakes. Well done!

Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

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

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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