Recent work-related incidents reported to WorkSafeBC

September 27, 2021

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: Close call
Core Activity: Crane operation / Highrise construction / Structural concrete forming
Location: Interior B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Sep
During tower crane operations the hoisting line failed, resulting in the load block falling to street level.
Injury Type: Exposure to carbon monoxide
Core Activity: Plumbing or heating installation or repair / Building management, building rental, or strata corporations
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Sep
A worker performing work on a boiler was exposed to exhaust gases from a disconnected vent.
Injury Type: Laceration, soreness
Core Activity: House or other wood frame contracting, construction, or renovation work
Location: Vancouver Island/Coastal B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Sep
A worker was operating a rough-terrain forklift when engine problems started. The worker continued to operate the machine. Subsequently, the forklift experienced an engine failure and started to roll uncontrollably toward an embankment. The worker was not able to apply the emergency power brake or lower the forks. The worker rode the equipment down the embankment (a drop of about 25 feet). The forklift rolled over and was found at rest with the tires up.
Injury Type: Fractures, lacerations
Core Activity: Highway maintenance (routine maintenance of all aspects of a specific section of highway)
Location: Interior B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Sep
A worker operating a vibratory compactor on a gravel road lost control of the machine. The worker and machine rolled down an embankment, damaging a live power transmission line. The machine was fully enclosed and had a ROPS (roll over protective structure), and the worker was wearing a seatbelt. After the utility owner had cut power to the line, the worker was extricated from the cab and taken to hospital.
Injury Type: Fracture, lacerations
Core Activity: Welding services or ornamental metal installation
Location: Northern B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Sep
During the demolition of a sawmill, a worker accessed the roof to help remove roofing materials. The roof was made of steel sheeting with insulation underneath. A section of roof had the steel sheeting removed with the insulation exposed. The worker stepped onto the unsupported insulation and fell 30 feet to the ground.
Injury Type: Close call
Core Activity: Excavation operation / Local government and related operations
Location: Interior B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
During excavation work, an abandoned natural gas line was discovered. When the line was cut, pressurized gas in the line started leaking. The fire department attended and evacuated two nearby buildings while the utility owner shut off the gas.
Injury Type: Laceration to leg
Core Activity: Excavation operation
Location: Vancouver Island/Coastal B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
A construction worker tripped over a concrete pony wall (14 inches high) with anchor bolts protruding about 3 inches out of the upper surface. As the worker fell, they contacted one of the anchor bolts.
Injury Type: Burns
Core Activity: Crane operation / House or other wood frame contracting, construction, or renovation work
Location: Vancouver Island/Coastal B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
A crane contacted an overhead high-voltage line, injuring a young worker who was touching the crane at the time.
Injury Type: Soft tissue injuries (1 worker)
Core Activity: Oil or gas pipeline construction or repair
Location: Northern B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
Two workers were pressure testing a new section of pipe with a portable air compressor. One worker noticed something was wrong and started to shut down the compressor. Meanwhile, the pressure in the pipe caused a plug to dislodge and strike the other worker.
Injury Type: Injuries to arm (1 worker)
Core Activity: Pile driving
Location: Interior B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
Workers had set a safety chain on a 25,000-pound hammer drill bit when its base end shifted on a slope during a crane pick. When the drill base shifted further, the safety chain tightened and struck one of the workers.
Injury Type: Burn
Core Activity: Plumbing installation or repair
Location: Vancouver Island/Coastal B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
A worker was called to a construction project to fix a hot water leak in a newly finished suite. The worker traced the leak, then tried to isolate the pipe. When the worker cut into the pipe, hot water sprayed out. To protect the suite from the water, the worker tried to block the spray until help arrived to shut off the water line.
Injury Type: Close call
Core Activity: Excavator operation
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
As an excavator was completing work in preparation for installing an underground storm drain, its bucket contacted a 3/4-inch natural gas service line, causing an uncontrolled release of gas into the atmosphere. The fire department attended, and as a precautionary measure the prime contractor evacuated the workplace. The utility owner was notified and repaired the gas line.
Injury Type: Fatal
Core Activity: Traffic control / Ready mix concrete manufacture and delivery / Concrete pumping
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
A traffic control worker was struck by a concrete delivery truck adjacent to a commercial construction site. The worker sustained fatal injuries.
Injury Type: Fractured leg
Core Activity: House raising or structural moving of buildings or heavy equipment
Location: Northern B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
A worker assisting with a house move was standing on temporary cribbing when they fell about 8 feet to the concrete basement.
Injury Type: Bruising
Core Activity: Structural concrete forming / Industrial, commercial, institutional, or highrise residential contracting or construction
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
A worker was on a job-built work platform about 4 feet 8 inches above grade, shrink-wrapping building materials in preparation for lifting them out of the area. The work platform suddenly collapsed, and the worker fell to the ground. The platform had not been constructed correctly to withstand the forces imposed on it. Weight limits were exceeded, and the strongbacks used to build the platform were compromised as they had been previously bored into.
Injury Type: Injury to back
Core Activity: Painting or wallpapering
Location: Interior B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
A young worker was on a pump-jack scaffold, painting siding. The pump-jack did not have end guardrails. The worker stepped backward and fell more than 10 feet to the soft ground.
Injury Type: Injury to head (1 worker)
Core Activity: Masonry
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Aug
A worker on manufactured metal scaffolding (about 6 feet above grade) was holding a nail gun. A second worker (a young worker) was at grade level. As the second worker handed a rain screen to the worker on the scaffold, the second worker’s head contacted the nose of the nail gun and a nail was discharged.
Injury Type: Fractured finger, soft tissue injuries
Core Activity: Window or glass installation
Location: Northern B.C.
Date of Incident: 2021-Jul
A worker installing a skylight on a flat roof lost their balance and fell through the opening to the floor below (about 15 feet).
Injury Type: Multiple injuries
Core Activity: Structural concrete forming
Location: Lower Mainland
Date of Incident: 2021-Jul
A tower crane was transporting two walk-behind power trowels. They were about 25 feet above the ground when a 36-inch float pan (round metal disc), weighing 30 to 40 pounds, dislodged and struck a worker below.