The president/CEO of the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board says 2009 was a dark day for workplace safety in the territory.
With four worker deaths in a population of about 33,000, the territory has Canada’s worst workplace injury rate, according to Valerie Royce. She noted that the number of head injuries had tripled over the previous year.
“This is completely unacceptable. It’s horrific,” she told CBC news.
Royce says Yukon workers and employers aren’t paying enough attention to safety.Read More
A construction worker in Ontario, Canada, survived a hit to the head, face and upper torso from a falling metal support beam weighing as much as 70 pounds (32 kilograms).
Police credit the use of a hardhat for saving the 31-year-old worker’s life. The beam fell eight stories before striking the worker, who was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
EDVAC Contracting Ltd. of Brampton, ON, was issued an order requiring it to take steps to ensure that beams cannot fall from buildings.Read More
A Toronto-based company has been fined $150,000 more than two years after a 55-year-old plumbing supervisor was fatally struck on the head by a piece of falling metal.
While workers were moving an outrigger platform from the 23rd floor of a high-rise building to the 22nd floor, a worker noticed a 30-centimeter (12 inch) piece of cast-iron piping rolling toward the roof edge.
The worker tried to reach the moving piece of metal, but it fell over the edge and struck a plumbing supervisor working on the third floor. Although the victim had been wearing a hardhat, it was destroyed by the impact.
Maple Leaf Structural Ltd., now operating as Structform International Ltd., pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that an outrigger platform was moved in a manner that did not endanger a worker.
Ontario Ministry of Labour investigators found that the mezzanine had not been secured or taped off while the platform was being moved, nor was there any overhead protection, signage, or person warning workers of the potential hazard above them.Read More
Had a Natick, MA, construction worker not been wearing a helmet, the knock he received from a metal bar could have been fatal.
The worker at the Natick Mall jobsite suffered a head injury when a metal bar fell and struck him. In a daze, the victim was taken to a local medical clinic.
Firefighters said the man’s helmet likely saved him from serious injury.
Info to go:
For information on head protection and hardhat safety click on the link at www.SafeSupervisor.comRead More
Penalties totaling $132,500 have been proposed. An OSHA investigation is conducted after an employee is fatally struck on the head while inflating a tire. Two willful citations were issued for failure to remove from service any restraining device or barrier exhibiting damage that would decrease its effectiveness, and failure to ensure all inflation operations are done inside a tire restraining device or barrier. Other alleged violations include allowing employees to over-inflate tires while seating tire beads against rim flanges, failure to ensure that employees demonstrated and maintained the ability to service rim wheels safely, and having unguarded machinery in operation on the premises. [T.O. Haas LLC, Imperial, NB. Release No. 07-44-KAN, Jan. 12, 2007].Read More
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have gone from being something of a rarity in the early 1980s to being extremely common both recreationally and at worksites. Recent statistics relating to ATV fatalities and injuries suggest that these machines are not being given the respect they deserve.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, (CPSC), ATV-related fatalities across the US numbered 470 in 2004, while injuries rose to a record high of 136,100 that year. In Canada, about 2,500 people require hospitalization for injuries received in ATV mishaps each year. One third of those injuries are serious (Source: A 2004 joint statement on ATV safety from the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Health Association, Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that at least 100 work-related ATV fatalities have occurred across the US within the past decade. Common causes of ATV-related deaths and injuries include driver inexperience, excessive speed and riding without a safety helmet. Frequently the machines flip over or strike other objects.
Initially, ATVs were used for work, not play. Farmers in Japan developed them in the 1960s for use in mountainous, remote areas that were sometimes not accessible by car. The first ATVs were imported to North America in the early 1970s.Read More
A municipality west of Ottawa has been fined $110,000, plus a 25 percent victim fine surcharge after a worker suffered serious head injuries.
A municipal worker was standing above a newly installed water main chamber while conducting a pressure test, when a test pipe assembly suddenly dislodged from a brass valve, knocking the worker unconscious.
An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation found that the brass valve or mainstop had been used on several previous occasions and was missing a stainless steel gripper. That resulted in a lack of grip by the mainstop to the test assembly’s copper pipe.
The investigation also found that the mainstop was not properly adjusted, which reduced its ability to grip and hold the test assembly in place, and that the use of hard copper in the test pipe assembly may have further contributed to the lack of grip.
The location of the pressure gauge on the test pipe assembly was also hazardous because it required that a worker look straight down at the test pipe assembly to take a reading. Finally, investigators determined that the Town of Carleton Place had failed to conduct a hazard assessment and develop appropriate safe procedures, including the use of suitable equipment, before undertaking the pressure test.
The town of Carleton Place, ON, pleaded guilty to failing to develop and implement safe procedures for pressure testing a water main.Read More
Many people in the safety business don’t like the word accident, because it suggests nothing could have been done to prevent the situation. They find the term “freak accident” even more irritating, because it brings another element such as fate or “bad karma” into the mix. That said, a pretty unusual um… incident occurred at a Toronto area high-rise construction site earlier this year.
Witnesses said a worker was killed instantly when a piece of safety fencing fell from atop a condominium tower and struck him on the head – just seconds after a wind gust had blown his hardhat off.
One Toronto newspaper reported that workers had earlier expressed concern that the safety fencing – designed to keep workers from falling – had not been installed properly and was loose.
Info to go: Read about another fatality involving a wind gust by clicking on the link at www.SafeSupervisor.comRead More
OSHA inspected a Pembroke, NH, construction site in response to a complaint about fall hazards. Employees were observed working at heights greater than 15 feet without using fall protection equipment. The company was cited for alleged willful failure to provide fall protection, along with three serious violations alleging failure to provide ladder access to a work area, failure to provide fall protection training and failure to ensure workers wore hardhats while working beneath steel erection activities. [National Store Fixtures Division of United Fixtures, South Bend, IN. Release Number 07-655-BOS/BOS 2007-119, May 8, 2007].Read More
OSHA inspectors observed employees working at heights of 13 feet without fall protection on a two-tiered welded scaffold that was not fully planked. The lack of planking and fall protection resulted in two willful citations carrying $14,000 in fines. The inspection also found that the scaffold was unstable, missing required cross-bracing, located within 14 inches of live electrical wires, and had not been erected under the supervision of a competent person. Other hazards alleged by OSHA include a lack of head and foot protection, an uncovered hatchway, a ladder of inadequate height, and failure to train employees to recognize hazards associated with scaffolding work and ladders. Fines of $10,800 were proposed for those hazards. [Allstate Painting, Mount Vernon, NY. Release Number 07-854-NEAW. BOS 2007-157, June 13, 2007].Read More