Worker was taken to hospital, where he died from his injuries three days later
The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) – the organization which administers Quebec’s health and safety plan – has revealed the results of its investigation into the workplace death of a construction worker in Notre-Dame-du-Laus, QC.
The man was working for firm Les Habitations C.L. on a residential construction project at the time of his fatal fall on November 23, 2021.
On the day of the accident, the worker was on the job site and was preparing to build the separator walls of the building’s ground floor. He was working next to an opening in the floor, which was where the stairwell was planned to be built. The opening in the floor was covered with two wooden panels. To be able to do his work, the worker had to reposition the wooden panels so that they wouldn’t get in the way.
So he removed the nails from the boards and moved the first panel out of the way, creating an opening in the floor. While working, the worker moved his foot into the opening, and fell three metres. Emergency services were called to the scene and he was taken to hospital, where he died from his injuries three days later.
Following its investigation, the CNESST found two causes to explain the accident:
Firstly, as the worker moved one of the panels, an opening of around 35.6 cm was created. When the worker moved one of his feet into the opening, he fell three metres into the void.
Secondly, fall safety management during the repositioning of the wooden panels was deficient and did not prevent the fatal fall of the worker.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, the CNESST demanded that the employer – Les Habitations C.L. – suspend work on the separator walls around the opening in the floor. In addition, it demanded that the employer put into place corrective measures – such as a guardrail around the hole – to prevent further fall risks. The employer complied with the demands, and the CNESST allowed for work to resume on the very same day.