Companies found to be putting workers at risk
WorkSafeBC has fined three British Columbia employers for violations of fall protection rules in the workplace.
Online Constructors Ltd. was fined $7,252.54 for violations it committed while it was conducting upgrades to a highway bridge at Liard River.
WorkSafeBC issued a stop-work order after it found that there were swing stages that were not set up according to standards or an engineer's instructions. On top of that, fall protection anchors did not meet the requirements.
Also, there was no exposure control plan for the sealant in use at the site, according to the organization.
“The firm failed to provide a safety data sheet for hazardous products in use by workers, and failed to implement an exposure control plan to maintain workers' exposure to hazardous materials as low as reasonably achievable,” said WorkSafeBC. “The firm also failed to ensure adequate fall protection was used, and failed to ensure work platforms met and were used in accordance with applicable standards.”
The firm also failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety. All of these are high-risk violations, according to WorkSafeBC.
Meanwhile, Raincoast Arboriculture Ltd. was fined $3,366.57 for its violations when it was felling trees for the expansion of a dump at the Lakelse Lake worksite.
WorkSafeBC found two dangerous trees that had been left standing in an area where workers had felled other trees. By doing so, the firm failed to conduct a risk assessment where work could expose a worker to a dangerous tree. The firm also failed to fall dangerous trees progressively with the falling of other timber.
These were both high-risk violations, according to WorkSafeBC.
Lastly, G & D Construction Ltd. was fined $5,000 for violations at its Mission worksite.
WorkSafeBC observed two of this firm's workers installing sheathing at the edge of the 4:12 sloped roof of a three-storey house under construction.
Though the workers were wearing fall protection harnesses, they were not connected to lifelines, according to the organization. No other form of fall protection was in place, exposing the workers to fall risks of up to 6.4 m (21 ft.).
Also, WorkSafeBC observed a non-compliant job-built ladder in use, as well as window openings that lacked the required guarding.
“The firm failed to ensure fall protection was used, a high-risk violation, and failed to ensure elevated work areas were guarded as required. The firm also failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety. These were all repeated violations,” said WorkSafeBC.
“In addition, the firm failed to ensure that work platforms were designed and installed according to the required standards.”