News

New West falls cost company $140,000

A fall by two workers at a New Westminster job site will cost a roofing company almost $140,000.

The fine by WorkSafeBC is the third highest levied by the province's governing body last year according to its 2011 enforcement report.

The penalty against Penfolds Roofing is for an incident in which two of the firm's workers were working near the edge of an unguarded roof, about 19 feet above the ground without using fall protection.

"A large steel bin was on the ground beneath the work area, increasing the risk for serious injury in the event of a fall," said the report. "The firm failed to ensure its workers used fall protection as required and also failed to provide the instruction, training and supervision needed to ensure the workers' safety."

The report also said the fine was so heavy because the firm had received a penalty for similar violations less than three years before this incident.

The death of a Brinkman and Associates Reforestation employee who was struck by a windfall tree in New West cost the company a fine of $38,683.

The tree slid downhill after the worker had bucked the top. WorkSafe said the company didn't provide the workers with the proper training and supervision to ensure safety, and in assessing hazards like windfall trees.

"It did not provide safe work procedures for bucking activities, even though these are required by regulation," said the report.

It also chastised Brinkman for not auditing the worker's falling and bucking practices.

WorkSafeBC also levied a fine of $19,028 to Dulai Roofing for infractions in New Westminster. The enforcement report said Dulai failed to ensure workers were protected from fall hazards of about 20 feet and twice from 30 feet on a steep slope.

New Mountain Stones Ltd., of New Westminster had a fine of $13,837 reduced by more than $2,000. The report said the firm "allowed tools to be modified and used contrary to the manufacturer's specifications. These were repeated violations of the requirement to ensure that any modifications of tools or equipment follow all the relevant safety requirements. The firm also failed to adequately instruct, education, train, and supervise workers in the safe use of tools."

A Vancouver company, Coast To Coast Roofing, was fined $7,500 for allowing two of its workers to operate without fall protection on a sloped roof that was between nine and 11 metres above the ground. The report said it was a repeated violation by the company.

Other companies penalized in 2011 by WorkSafeBC for infractions in New Westminster were Skylite Building ($2,500) Maintenance for an asbestos related offence and Michael D. Muir ($2,500) for failing to submit a report after a worker was injured in a fall.

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