Firm fined more than $500K after worker falls 40 feet

Worker, who was not connected to a lifeline, injured after falling through unguarded hole while walking along shoring deck

Firm fined more than $500K after worker falls 40 feet
One of the partnership members, Aecon, was previously fined $90K and $55K.

A construction partnership comprised of Aecon Construction Group, Dragados Canada, Flatiron and EBC was fined $528,631.72 after a worker was injured at a construction site in Peace River, B.C.

The firm’s (Aecon-Dragados-Flatiron-EBC) worksite was a hydroelectric dam under construction in the district.

The incident occurred when a worker was injured after falling around 40 ft. (12.2 metres) from a formwork shoring deck.

To accommodate the installation of future shoring tower components, holes had been cut out in the deck.

While on the site, the worker – who had been wearing fall protection but was not connected to a lifeline – fell through one of the holes while walking along the deck.

Site inspection

WorkSafeBC inspected the site after the incident. They observed that the hole the worker fell through was actually one of a number of uncovered and unguarded openings in shoring decks within the work area. Also, the firm’s fall protection plan had only been verbally communicated to workers and didn’t include specific instructions on adequate fall protection (which was, says WorkSafeBC, a repeated violation).

Furthermore, WorkSafeBC also noticed a ladder that workers used to access work areas which placed them directly above erected guardrail sections,

Lastly, WorkSafeBC uncovered no evidence that anyone in a supervisory role at the site had actually checked on the workers to ensure that the job task was being completed according to plan. These were all high-risk violations.

WorkSafeBC said: “The firm failed to ensure fall protection was used, to have a written fall protection plan in place, and to ensure workers were instructed in the fall protection system to be used in their work area."

The firm also failed to ensure floor openings were covered or guarded and identified, and to ensure there was a safe means of access and egress to each working level. Finally, the firm failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety.”

The $500K penalty was imposed on March 17, 2021.

Aecon was previously fined $90K in Ontario after a bulldozer incident, and $55K in Nova Scotia after a worker was struck by a metal outrigger.