July 15, 2021 – 8:00 p.m.
Two videos posted on social media showing what appears to be the first section of the collapsed crane in Kelowna being removed angered a union representative concerned about worker safety.
A video on Reddit has the StemmerCrane logo in one corner and the notation “First Section Coming Out” at the top of the video. Parts of it are repeated in a YouTube video narrated by a very critical commentator.
They show workers high above the ground without standard safety equipment such as helmets and tethers.
“From a union representative’s perspective, the training we provide and the regulations in place, you have to be bound,” said Frank Carr, sales representative for Local 115 of the International Union of Professional Engineers. ‘operation, at iINFOnews.ca today July 15. He watched the video. “You have to wear a helmet, safety glasses, gloves, safety clothing. When our members are trained, we follow the rules and we follow the proper protocol. ”
Stemmer Construction of Salmon Arm says on her website that the Brooklyn Apartment Tower is one of her projects and that she shows photos of cranes. The Brooklyn Project is where Monday’s crane collapse killed five men, including Eric and Patrick Stemmer.
The company’s phone rang without anyone answering today and no voicemail option was available when iINFOnews.ca called. The site appears to have been deleted.
The Operating Engineers Union succeeded in obtaining compulsory certification for crane operators 20 years ago and an association called BC Crane Safety was formed to oversee it. No one there would talk to iINFOnews.ca about crane safety.
Carr is one of the few people associated with the industry who speaks to the media.
It is trying to establish mandatory certification for the hazardous assembly and disassembly process of tower cranes, as well as the registration of qualified persons.
The Kelowna crane was being dismantled when the top fell. It is one of the worst crane disasters in history.
READ MORE: Kelowna’s tower crane collapse is one of the deadliest in recent memory
Carr said the comment in the YouTube video was “not terribly wrong” and basic safety procedures do not appear to have been followed.
“Wearing helmets and safety equipment is part of your workday,” he said. “People need to be safe. People have to follow the regulations to get home every day. There are a lot of good rules and if you follow them we all come home every day.
Linguistic advice for video
Most construction sites of this size – the Mission Group, which builds the skyscraper, said there were more than 100 workers on site – usually have their own health and safety officers.
Although the crane company is a subcontractor, they are still required to follow site rules, Carr said.
“Most of the sites have their own security guards who are on site,” Carr said. “Management is also responsible. Management will ensure that the protocol will be followed by their supervisors and foremen. ”
He noted that WorksafeBC inspectors cannot be on all sites at all times to ensure safety regulations are being followed.
“From what I understand, whenever subcontractors come to a site, the general contractor’s rules always apply,” Carr said. “All the general safety rules we work under apply, whether you are the general, the contractor or the worker, you have to follow the rules. ”
The union has a training center in Maple Ridge that has been operating for decades and a state-of-the-art training center in Texas operated by the international union.
The Southern Interior Construction Association declined to comment on safety regulations governing construction sites in general.
WorkSafeBC did not make anyone available for an interview, despite repeated requests.
They sent a link to a Tower Crane / Self-Assembly Pre-Assembly / Dismantle Requirements Tool that contains three pages of checks with signature spaces for Owner, General Contractor, Supervisor of the assembly / dismantling and the main contractor.
But, in response to follow-up questions, WorkSafeBC declined to say whether this form is mandatory or if it has been completed for this job.
“For the rest of your questions on this specific case, we are unable to comment during an open investigation,” wrote Andy Watson, media relations for WorksafeBC, in an email.
He sent links to the occupational health and safety regulations dealing with things like head protection and tether rules.
“A hard hat must be worn by a worker in any work area where there is a risk of head injury from a fall, flying or thrown objects, or other harmful contact,” says clause 8.11. (1).
“Unless otherwise provided in this Regulation, an employer must ensure that a fall protection system is used when work is performed at a location (a) from which a fall of three meters (10 ft) or more can happen ”, states clause 11.2 (1).
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News from © iINFOnews, 2021