Worker seriously injured in fall at construction site

Manitoba company fined $15,000 for incident

Worker seriously injured in fall at construction site

Performance Insulation Inc. in Manitoba has been fined $15,000 for failing to avoid a fall that seriously injured one worker.

The company must also pay an additional $1,500 penalty, payable to Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health, to be used for the purpose of educating the public on matters relating to workplace safety and health.

The incident took place on Nov. 26, 2018, when the worker was stapling mesh onto a wall on the second floor of a residential construction site.

The worker stepped off the edge of an unguarded stairwell and fell approximately 10.5 feet, according to the government.

On Nov. 2, 2021, Performance Insulation pleaded guilty to violating Section 4(1)(a) of the Workplace Safety and Health Act C.C.S.M. c. W210. The company was charged for failing to ensure that a guardrail system was in place to protect workers from falling through a second floor stairwell opening.

Previously, WorkSafeBC fined three British Columbia employers for violations of fall protection rules in the workplace. WorkSafeBC also earlier cited several employers for fall protection violations.

Also, Ontario Inc. – operating as Truly Green – has been fined $70,000 after a worker fell inside a shaft and sustained critical injuries.

In Canada over 42,000 workers get injured annually due to fall incidents, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).

“This number represents about 18 per cent of the ‘time-loss injuries’ that were accepted by workers' compensation boards or commissions across Canada, based on statistics from Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada, 2016,” it said.

Promoting a “safety first” culture in the workplace is critical in preventing falls, as well as slips and trips, according to Jim Swiss, managing director at Alliance Borealis Canada in Calgary.

“If you have management that doesn’t understand the emphasis on this area and doesn’t really support the need to manage slips, trips and falls then the hazards will remain on the site and contribute to an incident or injury later on,” he said.