Recent work-related incidents reported to WorkSafeBC

April 15, 2021

The following construction incident summaries are based on information obtained as soon as possible after the incidents: they are preliminary and subject to change. Details have been edited to protect workers’ privacy.

See additional summaries online.

Injury Type: Injury to upper body
Core Activity: Oil or gas pipeline construction or repair / Oil or gas production
Location: Northern B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Apr
A young worker at an oil and gas site was cutting a 10-inch metal pipe section from an existing piping system with a handheld gas axe when the equipment contacted the worker’s body.
Injury Type: Undetermined injuries
Core Activity: Framing or residential forming / House or other wood frame contracting, construction, or renovation work
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Mar
A worker was standing on the second step of a self-supporting ladder to install SDS screws into the top plate of a wood-framed wall. The ladder became unstable and the worker fell to the floor.
Injury Type: Close call
Core Activity: Commercial refrigeration or commercial air conditioning work
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Mar
A technician was conducting routine maintenance on an ammonia refrigeration system. After the technician loosened the connector for the check valve, a leak occurred. The alarm sounded at 25 ppm. The technician’s personal monitor read 35 ppm. The building was evacuated, and no injuries were reported.
Injury Type: Injury to foot
Core Activity: Excavator operation
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Mar
A worker was trying to remove a rock hammer attachment from an excavator. The hammer was not flat on the ground. When the worker released the open/close mechanism, using a release valve on the hydraulic line that controls the machine’s thumb, the thumb released and swung down. Part of the worker’s foot was caught in the pinch point between the machine’s thumb and the body of the rock hammer.
Injury Type: Fatal (2 persons)
Core Activity: Concrete pumping
Location: Vancouver Island/Coastal B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Mar
During concrete pumping, the boom failed at the slew ring. The boom fell and struck two persons, fatally injuring them.
Injury Type: Injury to upper body
Core Activity: House or other wood frame contracting, construction, or renovation work
Location: Vancouver Island/Coastal B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Mar
A worker was sheathing a two-storey house and was attempting to place a 4×8 sheet of 7/16-inch oriented strand board on the truss system when the sheet slid down off the roof. The worker tried to stop the sheet from falling and in the process fell about 20 feet to the flat ground below.
Injury Type: Puncture wound
Core Activity: Framing or residential forming
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Mar
A young worker was climbing a ladder while holding a nail gun. The tip of the nail gun contacted the worker’s leg, and a nail was discharged into the worker’s leg.
Injury Type: Undetermined injuries
Core Activity: Paving services or asphalt manufacture
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Mar
A worker was performing concrete finishing activities on a newly placed concrete curb when a partial roll of roofing paper fell 30 feet from the roof above and struck the worker on their hardhat. The worker, who remained conscious, was transported to hospital by ambulance.
Injury Type: Undetermined injuries
Core Activity: Crane operation / General trucking
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Mar
The operator of a mobile crane was struck by components of a 2×4 guardrail system that fell from the third floor. The guardrail was being removed to facilitate the delivery of rebar and wire mesh.
Injury Type: Lacerated finger
Core Activity: Framing or residential forming / House or other wood frame contracting, construction, or renovation work
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Mar
A young worker was cutting 2×6 wooden blocks with a handheld circular saw when the blade of the saw contacted one of the worker’s fingers.
Injury Type: Lacerations (1 worker); Back pain (1 worker)
Core Activity: House or other wood frame contracting, construction, or renovation work
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Feb
A garage roof about 10 feet wide by 16 feet long, with temporary supports, fell over, striking two workers standing beneath.
Injury Type: Injuries to fingers
Core Activity: Structural concrete forming
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Feb
A young worker was trying to reposition a non-operational powered pallet jack. The worker grabbed the end of the forks, where the wheels are located. When the worker dropped the forks down, the fingers of one hand were trapped in the narrow space between the wheel of one fork and the fork’s body.
Injury Type: Puncture wound (1 worker)
Core Activity: Framing or residential forming
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Feb
Two workers were carrying their tools and equipment down a staircase at the end of the workday. One of the workers was holding a cordless nail gun (powered by gas and battery), which inadvertently discharged as the worker squeezed between shoring members. The nail ricocheted off a steel shore post and struck the other worker (a young worker).
Injury Type: Close call
Core Activity: Excavator operation
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Feb
An excavator was digging a trench when its bucket contacted and damaged an underground energized high-voltage (12 kV) conductor and energized pad mount transformer.
Injury Type: Close call
Core Activity: Concrete cutting or coring
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Feb
A buried, concrete-encased residential gas line (1 to 2 inches in diameter) was ruptured during removal of a concrete “dead head” supporting an adjacent utility pole. The prime contractor immediately evacuated the site.
Injury Type: Injury to lower body
Core Activity: Plumbing, heating, vent, residential air conditioning, or central vacuum system installation or repair
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Feb
A worker was on a stepladder using a specialized, non-powered tool to connect sheet metal. The tool uses a lever action. The worker was performing the lever action when the tool broke, causing the worker to lose balance and fall about 4 feet to grade.