Post #353 – Build it According to the Building Code

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Prince Edward Island’s WCB is urging that care be taken following an incident in which two workers were injured in a roof truss collapse on a residential construction site.

The truss system had been installed and braced, and was ready for sheathing, says a hazard summary issued by the board. But soon after several piles of sheathing had been loaded onto the truss system, it became clear the weight was more than individual trusses were designed to support. The loaded trusses began to roll horizontally, collapsing the entire system.

An investigation determined the manufacturer’s recommendations were not followed. Employers are advised to ensure the following: workers understand and follow the manufacturer’s procedures on handling, erecting, positioning and bracing trusses; truss erection is directed by a “competent” person who is appropriately qualified based on training, experience and knowledge of PEI’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations; and trusses are properly braced to maintain structural capacity and stability.

My opinion

First of all, the competency standards for the province of Prince Edward Island covers training of the work involved and to acquire knowledge of the Occupational Health and Safety Act as well as any of the appropriate regulations.

The company involved (not named in this report) was guilty of violating section 18.1 of the General regulations of PEI which states,

“ The employer shall ensure that sufficient bracing and supports, either permanent or temporary, shall be provided to ensure that a structure, or any part thereof, will safely support all loads to which it may be subjected at all stages of progress on the project.” (EC180/87)

I cannot believe a company would directly stoop and not adhere to the engineering standard as required. The internet could run with the story and probable destroy your company’s reputation, or, at the very least, damage it. Always live up to the engineering standard for whatever job you decide to work on.

My best advice is to hire a safety officer or a health and safety coordinator to look after this aspect of the business. It would go a long way when dealing with an accident or other type of mishap on the work site.

Remember — In Ontario, “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’ 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 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

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