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Firms fined $22K over three months for fall risks at Tri-City construction sites

One company was fined $10,000, one had no barriers at 30 feet in the air and a third saw one of its employees get seriously injured after falling two storeys.
New home construction. | Getty Images

Five B.C. framing and roofing companies were set back more than $22,000 combined — one at $10,000 — in a three-month span this year while working on projects across the Tri-Cities.

WorkSafeBC issued the fines between March and May, according to public reports listed on the organization's website, all for exposing workers to significant fall risks, including one firm at 30 feet and another that saw an employee incur serious injuries after falling two storeys.

In almost every case, the province's safety watchdog stated workers were not provided with proper training and supervision, which are repeated and high-risk violations.

The $10,000 fine against Can Won Consulting Ltd. for a work safety violation at a site in Port Coquitlam is currently under review.

In its report, WorkSafeBC explained the Surrey-based residential forming firm was brought on to frame a two-storey house.

An inspection of the site found a worker standing on a beam of a lower roof with "no form of fall protection in place" and was at risk of dropping 13 feet to the ground below.

The worker was also "in the direct line of sight of a representative of the firm," WorkSafeBC said. The fine was imposed on March 6.

As well, another Surrey company was fined nearly $5,000 in April for exposing its workers to a fall risk of 11 feet in Coquitlam.

While constructing a house, a WorkSafeBC rep saw two JJM Framing Ltd. workers installing plywood sheathing on the edge of the second floor with no fall protection.

Meanwhile, an employee of a Richmond-based steep slope roofing firm was seriously injured after falling from a second-storey deck at a Port Moody worksite.

Yuxinglong Renovation Inc. was fined $2,500 for the incident, in which the worker was removing a post from the deck before the 11-foot fall.

"No form of fall protection had been in place. The firm failed to ensure fall protection was used and to have a written fall protection plan available," WorkSafeBC's statement reads.

"The firm also failed to ensure that, before a worker was allowed in an area where a fall risk exists, the worker was instructed in the fall protection system for the area and the procedures to be followed."

The company was initially hired to replace the Port Moody structure's roof and gutters. The high-risk violation fine was issued on April 16.

That same month, a Langley company working on a Coquitlam commercial building was only set back $2,500 despite exposing its workers to a possible fall of 30 feet to the surface.

Mi Sook Lee / Kim's Roofing Services was installing membrane on the structure's flat roof when an inspector witnessed workers near the edge.

"Control zone delineators were in place but the workers were outside the safe zone and no one was acting as safety monitor," WorkSafeBC's report reads.

The fifth most recent fine, at $2,500, was imposed against a Metro Vancouver company for a 10-foot fall-risk exposure from a second-level balcony at a Coquitlam quadplex.

WorkSafeBC "observed work areas that lacked safe access, a stairway that lacked handrails, and unguarded window, door, and floor openings," and that the business "failed to ensure that stairs had handrails on any open side, that safe ways of entering and leaving each work area were provided, and that elevated work areas had guards or guardrails installed."