Painter Dies after Falling

Painter Dies after Falling at Saanich Work site

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Painter dies after falling at Saanich work site by Cindy E. Harnett , Jeff Bell of the Times Colonist * Another senseless death of a Construction Worker WHY by Mike Winbow

From Times Colonist 

by Times Colonist Cindy E. Harnett , Jeff Bell

SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 10:23 PM UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 17, 2016 12:23 AM

 See more at: Painter dies after falling at Saanich work site  A 25-year-old Langford man, painting at a Saanich business, died when he apparently fell about six metres onto pavement, Vancouver Island regional coroner Matt Brown said.  “He was on the awning and likely went over the edge,” but what led to the fall may never be uncovered because there were no witnesses, Brown said. The B.C. Coroners Service did not release the man’s name pending notification of his family. WorkSafe B.C. said the fall occurred about 2:20 p.m. on Thursday. Brown said the man was found outside on the ground by someone working in another business in the same building. He was deceased at the scene. The man was a full-time qualified painter working for Coastal Painting Ltd., Brown said. He was working at All Seasons Auto-Racks, 3325 Oak Street, near Uptown shopping centre and had been working on the project for most of the week. Police have ruled out foul play. “The working theory is that he may have been standing near the edge of the awning when he lost his footing or grip and fell to the ground and died as a result of his injuries,” Brown said. WorkSafe B.C.’s Scott McCloy said the man fell onto blacktop. “It’s an unspeakable tragedy,” he said. “Everybody wants to go to work and do a good job, and you don’t expect to get hurt. The tragedy, to me, is that we leave behind people who love us. It’s just horrific.” Falls from elevation are a particular concern for WorkSafe B.C., he said. “It’s part of our high-risk strategy, because we know that with a fall from an elevation, you don’t have to fall very far to incur a serious injury.” Brown said there do not appear to be any environmental factors such as sun in the man’s eye or wet slippery surfaces. The man appeared to be wearing a safety harness, “but whether it was connected or not, we don’t know,” Brown said. That will be part of the investigation by B.C. Coroners Service and WorkSafe B.C., he said. McCloy said Saanich police were in charge of the scene until about 6 p.m. Thursday, when WorkSafe BC took over. “WorkSafe B.C. is conducting a regulatory investigation to determine what happened, why it happened, how it happened and how it can be prevented again in the future,” he said. Part of the investigation will involve WorkSafe staff who look strictly at prevention issues, he said. “They will be looking at what the procedures are for this worksite. Is there a fall-protection plan in place?” The investigation could take weeks or months, McCloy said.  
 © Copyright Times Colonist 

Another senseless death of a Construction Worker WHY 

I fail to understand how this is still going on. As a Site Safety Professional and a First Aider I am really struggling on that question.  We all know by know that if you fall from such a height and live, you are going to be in a world of hurt. However most likely as what was proven they other die another worker dies a meaningless death. The article states the worker "appeared to be wearing a safety harness, but whether it was connected or not, we don’t know,” Brown said. Really?!? There is a sure fired way to tell if he was connected. He would still be alive. However from the picture I grabbed of google street view (And I do apologize if I'm mistaken and have the wrong building ) The awning/ overhang "does not" have a structural anchor point. The  tubes coming down off the top of the roof are on a 45 deg downward angle so the worker had nothing substantial to tie off onto. Now keep in mind most companies like to also buy "fall Arrest" and rarely do they read the length of slack coming out on a deployment of the shock absorber. 
 Like a lot of roofers in single family residential, they wear the harness and drag the lanyard around like a tail connected to absolutely nothing. The expense of an engineered horizontal lifeline or multiple 50 foot lengths of rope is an expense they just don't want to incur. The cheapest harnesses are purchased and they only hold up to much weight. You need at least a system when using fall arrest that will withhold 5000 lbs of force.  A 220 lb. worker free-falling 1.0 metre (3 ft.) generates an impact force of approximately 2700 lbs.    Here's the bottom line,  What they should have done if this poor man needed to be up there is to have a manlift go around and install a "Parapet Guardrail System"  around the edge of the awning he was on. Then he wouldn't even need to wear a harness and run the risk of stepping over a rope being dragged. You know a retractable worth upwards of $300 is not an expense one wants to incur as well.  And their lies the whole damn problem. "Monkey" So I ask you, Whats your life worth? Is it worth $1000?    Companies just don't want to pay the expense. Roll the dice. Very tragically this one came up craps. So many this year already. Last year out of the 122 workers who died in the province of BC the majority were men in the trades, and a lot of the fatalities could have been prevented. A few minutes to stand back, lock the task over and ask that one question, "What can go wrong"?    The sad truth is the ones who are holding the purse strings want it done yesterday. I was recently on a site for a year out in the valley where I was constantly having to deal with safety concerns because the site superintendent just didn't care. He would order new and young workers to do tasks that were not only against the regulations, but put them in positions that one wrong move or misstep and we would have had a death on site. Did he care? Oh I'm sure through his smile and charm he'll attempt to convince you that it was all fine, and nobody was in harm's way or grave danger. However i was never provided a procedure or even notified that the work  was going to commence. Some tasks he even scheduled long after 5:pm when WorkSafe BC was closed and I went home. He had such little regard for the workers that he didn't even know what Day of Mourning was, until I orientated him and by his own word he's been in construction  for over 30 years. 

Until this archaic mindset changes , we will still see these accidents year after year after year. 

Thank You & Have a Safe Day                                                                      Mike Winbow CSO, CSS, OFA III OH&S Developer & Coordinator
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With several years in Construction, a vast amount in Masonry, when I turned 40 it was time for a change. Occupational Health and Safety was a calling I wish I discovered when I was younger. With over 30 years experience now in the trades, I have a knowledge base I wish to pass on.

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