New cranes going up at deadly Kelowna collapse site

Journal of Commerce | DCN-JOC News Services | October 26, 2021

KELOWNA, B.C.—Two new cranes are going up at the site of a deadly crane collapse in B.C.

Mission Group, the developer behind Bernard Block in Kelowna, announced it has been working with Emry Formworks Inc. to develop a safety deployment plan to assemble two new tower cranes.

In a public release, the company states the cranes are required for the construction and completion of the Block office tower and Bertram condo tower at Bernard Block and will be assembled at the site on Oct. 26.

The tower cranes will be assembled and serviced by Morwest Crane & Services Ltd. The safety deployment plan includes comprehensive procedures for crane assembly and dismantling including operator qualifications and safety training.

“Mission Group has also planned the timing for crane assembly to help ensure minimal impact to the public and local businesses, and has directly and personally advised potentially impacted business owners and operators in advance,” said the company in a release. “Supervisors and construction safety officers have been assigned by Mission Group and will be onsite throughout the entire set up process.”

News of the cranes being erected onsite comes after a deadly incident occurred at the 25-storey tower in July while a crane was being dismantled. Five people were killed, including four construction workers and one person who was working in a nearby office building.

The construction workers were identified as Jared Zook, Cailen Vilness and brothers Patrick and Eric Stemmer. Brad Zawislak was identified as the office worker.

The incident has sparked investigations by the BC Coroners Service, RCMP and WorkSafeBC.

While the cause of the collapse has not been determined, WorkSafeBC issued a bulletin earlier this month on crane dismantling safety.

The bulletin focuses on the dangers of “top climbing,” which it defines as a common way of assembling or dismantling a tower crane on a site through use of a top climbing glide structure installed around the tower crane’s mast.

The guide is used to create a gap for adding and removing mast sections and rollers are located at the middle and bottom of the top climbing guide on all four corners. When the system is weight-balanced, the rollers allow the guide to travel up and down the mast.