The scene on Luckakuck Way on Sept. 7, 2017 when a worker was seriously injured after a crane lifting a metal bar came in close proximity to high voltage wires. (Greg Knill/ Progress file)

Safety rules broken when Chilliwack construction worker seriously injured

WorkSafeBC report finds company did not locate high voltage wires for employee operating crane

A WorkSafeBC investigation has determined that a company whose employee was seriously injured when a crane came close to overhead hydro wires violated four provincial statutes on worker safety.

The incident occurred on Sept. 7, 2017 when a crane at a construction site on Luckakuck Way came into close proximity to the wires on the north side of the worksite.

Witnesses said a large metal bar was being lifted, it hit the wire sending out a huge shower of sparks. There was then the sound of an explosion and a man yelling.

“It was awful,” said Grace Smiley, who works at The Brick furniture store across the street.

• READ MORE: VIDEO: Worker seriously injured in Chilliwack workplace accident

• RELATED: Equipment malfunction blamed in Chilliwack workplace death

The worker was airlifted to hospital, taken by a helicopter that landed in the parking lot at Cottonwood Mall.

ICE Development Ltd. out of Aldergrove was building the tilt-up building on Luckakuck Way that day.

Officers from WorkSafeBC were dispatched to the site to investigate, and a stop-work order was immediately put into effect based on violations observed, and because the agency “a reasonable grounds to believe there is a high risk of serious injury, serious illness or death to a worker at this workplace.”

In a report accessed by The Progress this week, WorkSafe BC found the company violated three sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) and one section of the Workers Compensation Act (WCA).

Specifically, the employer did not identify the existence, location and voltage of the high voltage electrical conductors, and make a plan to keep employees safe. The company also did not have a health and safety co-ordinator in place for the worksite, with up-to-date information.

On Nov. 9, a WorkSafeBC officer attended the worksite again to determine if the company had complied with orders issued in September. At that time the officer determined all four orders had been complied with.

After a visit on Dec. 14, it was determined the stop work order was lifted for the site.

No fines were issued to the company.


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