– Firms fined for Canada Line fatality

Richmond Review

Two firms involved in construction of the Canada Line rapid transit route have been fined $315,343.71 following the death of a worker last year.

The penalties are associated with the death of a crane operator who was killed while working on the North Arm Bridge connecting the Vancouver and Richmond sections of the line.

The penalties are as follows:

•$233,535.58 imposed on the employer of the deceased worker, SNC-Lavalin Constructors (Pacific) Inc. & Rizzani de Eccher Inc., a joint venture doing business as RSL Joint Venture

•$81,808.13 imposed on the prime contractor of the Canada Line project, SNC-Lavalin Constructors (Pacific) Inc.

“No penalties are adequate when a life is lost, but we hope they can serve to motivate these employers and others to comply with the occupational health and safety regulation, particularly as it applies to training and supervision,” said Roberta Ellis, vice-president of the Investigation Division of WorkSafeBC.

The penalties are two of the highest ever imposed by WorkSafeBC, reflecting the seriousness of the violations and the resulting fatality. The criteria for a discretionary penalty — a fatality arising from a high-risk violation committed willfully or with reckless disregard — were met in this case, allowing for the larger penalty amount.

On January 21, 2008 a crane operator was using a small carry-deck crane as part of the ironworker crew installing bike path components onto the Vancouver side of the North Arm Bridge. When he attempted to move a load of hardware from the front deck of the crane to the bike path below by swinging it over the bridge guide-way, the crane tipped over on its driver side. The crane operator tried to exit the rear of the crane, but was pinched between the crane and the guide-way’s parapet wall and was killed instantly.

The WorkSafeBC investigation, released in 2008 concluded that the following were underlying factors in this incident:

•insufficient supervision of the work;

•load weights were not clearly presented;

•no effective system to measure operating radius;

•insufficient training and experience of the operator.

WorkSafeBC penalizes where there has been a lack of due diligence by the employer that has resulted in a serious injury or fatality; where there has been a serious and/or repeated violation of occupational health and safety laws and regulations; where a sanction is required to motivate the specific employer to comply with the law; and where the sanction can act as a deterrent for others.



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