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Developer, builders fined for falling construction debris near Burnaby's Gilmore SkyTrain station

WorkSafeBC has fined three builders, including Onni Contracting Ltd, more than 200K for ‘high-risk’ incidents of things falling from their under-construction condo towers at the Gilmore Place development.
A piece of plywood fell 32 storeys from Tower 1 at the Gilmore Place development onto an active SkyTrain track last August, according to WorkSafeBC.

A developer and two concrete forming contractors building condo towers in Burnaby’s Brentwood town centre have been fined more than $200,000 after “high-risk” incidents involving objects plummeting from their under-construction highrises, according to WorkSafeBC.

WorkSafe fined Onni Contracting Ltd. $90,154, Cap West Forming Ltd. $63,902 and gForm Enterprises Ltd. $46,688 for accidents at the Gilmore Place development, which will boast one of Canada’s tallest residential towers once it's finished.

On Dec. 22, 2022, a truck driver was hit and injured by a five-inch metal grinding disk that fell about 35 storeys from one tower, according to WorkSafeBC inspection reports obtained by the NOW.

Not long before that incident, a delivery worker at the same site had reported a close call after a four-inch bolt fell from the building above and landed next to him, the report said.

Then, on Jan. 16, a portion of deck scaffolding fell about 27 storeys from another tower, and a connector piece that ejected on impact hit a worker, according to another inspection report.

The report said the incident presented “a high risk of serious or fatal injury to a worker” and noted 19 objects had fallen from that building.

Onni was the prime contractor and Cap West the concrete formwork contractor during both of those incidents and both were fined.

“This employer’s construction site has a high number of incidents involving objects that have fallen from elevated heights that could have caused serious or fatal injuries,” said one report about Onni.

Onni was also the prime contractor at another Gilmore Place tower last August when a piece of plywood become dislodged and fell about 32 storeys onto an active SkyTrain track, according to another WorkSafe report.

GForm, the concrete formwork contractor on that project, was fined after that incident.

After the deck scaffolding mishap in January, WorkSafe inspected all three Gilmore Place towers under construction at the time and found problems at each one when it came to safety around falling objects, according to inspection reports.

Inspectors found “poor housekeeping and construction debris on unguarded leading edges that can inadvertently fall off the building” as well as ineffective processes for controlling work on the buildings’ outer edges.

The WorkSafe penalties were imposed in March.

Onni and Cap West have both requested the fines be reviewed.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
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