Blog Post #484 – Fall Accident Prompts 15 Safety Counts

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Two Alberta companies face a total of 15 charges under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in connection with the serious injury of a worker from a ‘Fall Accident’ on August 15, 2008.

That day, the labourer fell from a second-storey mezzanine onto a pile of scrap metal, sustaining multiple broken bones and body trauma, notes Alberta Employment and Immigration (AEI) in Edmonton. In addition, workers employed by Eco-Industrial Park Inc., Canadian Consolidated Salvage Ltd. and Diversified Staffing Services Ltd. were also exposed to asbestos-containing materials.

On August 13, 2010, Eco-Industrial Park was charged with six violations of the OH&S Act. Among other things, the counts cite the failure to ensure the health and safety of the worker and others present at the work site, and failure to ensure compliance with oh&s requirements.

Canadian Consolidated Salvage, for its part, faces nine counts under Alberta’s OH&S Code, including the following: failing to conduct a hazard assessment and report; failing to keep the work site clear of unnecessary accumulations of asbestos; failing to establish an emergency response plan; and failing to ensure that connecting components of a fall arrest system were manufactured to appropriate standards.

My opinion

Fall Protection and Asbestos Awareness. Hmm…

The first issue was just another day in the working world of Alberta but the second issue was a blatant disregard for human life. Asbestos is a designated substance, at least it is in Ontario, and we have a separate regulation to deal with it. In the construction projects, Ontario regulation 278/05 covers any type of demolition and rework in the construction field. There are accepted safeguards that HAVE to be in place if asbestos is detected. (The employer must complete a check for asbestos)

I do not know the amount of the fines, that were issued, (if any) in this case. However, I wonder if it is enough of a deterrent to keep employers honest in their endeavors to keep their workforce safe. The record for Alberta would show that it would not be.

Mind you, we may have to wait 20+ years to see if one or more of the workers have one of the following:

1) Asbestosis;
2) Mesothelioma; or
3) Lung Cancer.

I wonder if this will ever be brought up again when that happens!

I really doubt that!

Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

Remember – Alberta Health and Safety – An Oxymoron!

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

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