May 2015 Month In Review

05 / 25 / 2015 | Industry News | Ryan Michels

WS Safety month in review – May 2015

As the weather finally started turning nicer this past month construction activity was up and also unfortunately fall accidents and fatalities. It seemed like a particularly bad month for accidents. We are hoping that the new working at heights training requirements help to prepare workers for the hazards of working at heights. http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/topics/heights.php

Fall Related Accidents

 – Two workers lives could have been saved if they had been using fall protection. Two workers died when the scaffolding collapsed while they were painting a 123 foot tall water tower in Oxford Ohio. OSHA assessed a $199,000 penalty for the employer, V&T Painting.

 – Chief Prevention officer George Gritziotis issues a statement due to a recent increase in fall related incidents. He was asking for an increased effort for all supervisors, employers, unions, and regulators to make workplaces safer.

 – A company located in Virgil, Ontario, was charged a fine of $35,000 for failing to ensure a worker was protected adequately by at least one method of fall protection. The worker fell more than 5 metres from a roof edge while working on the roof of a church in Niagara-on-the-lake. He suffered broken bones and lost consciousness from the fall.

buff.ly/1FARL4W – A Parry Sound company, GRC Contracting, of Hawkestone, Ontario, pleaded guilty and has been fined $90,000 for the death of a worker who fell through a roof. The company was performing work on a roof of a mill building and had been in the process of covering holes in the roof where turbine ventilation was previously located, when the worker fell through insulation that was not yet covered. He fell 42′ to his death, caused by massive trauma. The holes were not surrounded by guardrail nor covered for safety. The worker was wearing a full body harness but was not attached to a fall arrest or travel restraint system. (Safety Rail 2000 or even Perma-Line would have been perfect products for this jobsite).

Three days prior to the incident, GRC had been warned by the constructor about ensuring fall arrest was worn by workers after three GRC workers had been observed by an employee of the constructor working on the roof without fall protection.

Section 26.1(2) of Ontario’s Construction Projects Regulation states that workers shall be adequately protected by a guardrail system. If it is not reasonably possible to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, workers shall be adequately protected by a travel restraint system, a fall restricting system, a fall arrest system or a safety net.

Snorkel-lift tipped overbuff.ly/1JE37oE – One man is dead and another is critically injured after a scissor lift tipped over at a Markham construction site Thursday morning. Police were called to the scene at Birchmount Road and Enterprise Boulevard (Toronto) where they say one man fell approximately 25 feet. There was confusion though whether both men were in the lift when it fell. The critically injured man was airlifted to hospital.

buff.ly/1dmMZfn – The worker in this story was wearing a harness and was using a lanyard with a scaffold hook on it when the platform gave way and the gate on the hook failed when it was loaded.

‘The hook met the voluntary standards of the American National Standards Institute that existed prior to 2007. The voluntary standard for the hook was to handle 220 pounds of force from one direction and 350 pounds of force from another direction.

In 2007, the voluntary standard was raised ten-fold to withstand 3,600 pounds of pressure, according to Chronic, the family’s attorney.’

Something a little ‘lighter’, fall safety for geese

These baby goslings got stuck on the roof of the outdoor centre at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. The university employees realized that it would almost spell certain death for the goslings if they jumped off the roof and tried to fly but would fall to the pavement below. The University took action and set up some gym mats along the roadway below so the geese would have something to cushion their fall. We are not big ‘fans’ of geese, however it’s hard not to help a baby animal.

New Products

Mezzanine fall hazard protectionWe are excited to announce another great new way to protect mezzanine fall hazards. The clear height mezzanine safety gate is a unique gate design that provides 100% protection from fall hazard while not requiring any overhead frame or attachment like conventional safety gates do. This makes it an ideal solution for tall pallet loads, especially with low overhead clearance. The gates are counterbalanced and linked with a gear mechanism, therefore when one side is lowered the other is raised, keeping employees safe behind a safety gate at all times. Fits a standard clear opening of 64″ wide x 42″ high, weight is 190 lbs. Meets OSHA, ANSI, and IBC standards. For other applications where it is not possible to install this gate we also carry several other models including a dock safety gate, pivot mezzanine gate, and several roll up style gates.

 

About the author

Ryan Michels Ryan has been involved in the design and installation of custom fall protection systems with W.S. Safety Technologies since 2005. Ryan is a specialist in the different types of products, applications, and regulatory codes governing proper design and use of fall protection systems.

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