Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A worker at a Winnipeg construction site was taken to hospital for treatment after a concrete slab fell on him while inside a trench.

At about 9 am on July 13, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) and Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) received reports of the accident, says Constable Jason Michalyshen, a public information officer with the WPS. When emergency services arrived, “a number of people in the area” were trying to get the slab off the worker, Michalyshen says.

The 40-year-old employee of FOX Contracting was inside a trench alongside the foundation of a home when the slab fell, pinning him to the ground.

A WFPS spokesperson says bystanders used a rope “to try to keep the pressure” off the trapped worker, who was on his knees inside the excavation. Firefighters arrived about two minutes after being called, she reports.

Once freed by emergency responders, Michalyshen says that the worker was taken to hospital in unstable condition, which was later upgraded to stable.

“The biggest purpose for an investigation is really to make sure we get to the bottom of what happened so that we can prevent reoccurrence,” says Jo-Anna Guerra of the WSHD.

The province has hired 15 of 20 new oh&s inspectors as part of a prevention plan started in 2008, Guerra says. Efforts are continuing “in the new residential construction [sector] to conduct inspections and make sure all the appropriate systems are in place,” she adds.

My opinion

I realize this happened a few years ago. It would be interesting to find out how many safety and health inspectors there are in the province of Manitoba AND if enforcement is the standard for today.

It has been my opinion, through exhaustive research, that most provinces are not paying attention to the day-to-day issues and only work on the extreme cases. I wonder how we got to the extreme cases? I can tell you, through ignoring the day-to-day issues.

A ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy can work wonders if it is implemented and properly supervised. I do hope your province is in the mood to drive change and make their province a safe province. Make your opinion count so that your workforce safety is a top priority.

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 ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Construction Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. 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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