Blog Post #1514 – Worker Dies After a Fall in New Brunswick

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (February 2017)

A foreman is dead after falling approximately 12.5 metres from the fourth storey of a building at a construction site in Fredericton.

The incident happened on January 30, 3017 at about 9:30am at the construction site of the city’s new Hilton Garden Inn, according to Manon Arsenault, director of communications with WorkSafeNB, who identifies the victim’s name Steven Lutes.

Lutes, a resident of the community of Upper Coverdale, was born in 1975 and employed by LEAD Structural Formwork in Moncton, according to his online obituary. The contractor for the hotel’s construction is J.W. Lindsay Construction, which is headquartered in Halifax, but has a Moncton branch.

“It really hit us all hard here,” Lindsay president Corey Bell says. Lindsay has a crisis counselling hotline, which it activated immediately after the tragedy. “Within a couple of hours, we had onsite counselling available for anybody, any workers and employees that were in close proximity to the worksite when it happened,” Bell adds.

Although WorkSafeNB is investigating the incident, it did not issue any order to halt work or shut down the worksite, according to Bell. “We have an ISO registered quality and safety-management system in place, so we have safety at the highest standards. We are always committed to meet or achieve any of the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and all regulations.”

Bell adds that the company does enforce the use of fall protection equipment for employees who work at heights, but cannot confirm whether or not Lutes was wearing fall-arrest gear at the time of the incident.

My opinion

My first reaction was WHAT?

The company had such a great safety policy and program that someone died in their company and WorkSafeNB thought so highly of them that they received a free pass. What a crock!

In Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Newfoundland, the sites would have been shut down immediately.

It is an occupational satire that the province of New Brunswick copied the similar name as their counterpart in British Columbia. (WorkSafeBC) They sure didn’t follow the zero tolerance that their counterparts provide for BC.

I have to say that, “ WorkSafeNB dropped the safety ball here”. No company should receive a free pass when a death occurred.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence‘.

Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

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.

 

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