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High-voltage shock leaves Port Coquitlam window cleaner with serious injuries

A company has been fined $5,000 after WorkSafeBC determined the new employee had not received proper hazard training.
Power Lines Getty
Power lines.

A house-detailing company that cleans windows, gutters and awnings in the Tri-Cities is paying another significant fine for failing to ensure employee safety.

This time, a new worker was left seriously injured after getting shocked by a high-voltage power line while cleaning windows at a Port Coquitlam building.

WorkSafeBC issued a fine of $5,000 to Iron Bay Holdings Ltd. / Shack Shine — its third violation in just over three years combining for $20,000, and occurred in the same month that one of its workers fell off a roof in Coquitlam.

An extensive investigation was conducted by the provincial agency and the ticket was imposed on March 22.

According to the public report, a new Shack Shine employee did not receive proper worksite-specific training on electrical hazard safety before they began cleaning windows at a multi-unit residential building.

They used a telescoping pole, but it hit an overhead power line, shocked them and caused serious injuries.

WorkSafeBC says the business also did not implement control measures to reduce potential safety risks related to the power line.

"In addition, the firm's safe work practices noted the limits of approach in relation to ladder use but not in relation to telescoping cleaning poles," the agency explains.

"The firm failed to ensure workers were informed of high-voltage electrical hazards, and failed to ensure workers remained a minimum distance from electrical equipment."

This is not the first time the firm has been slapped with a high-risk fine for failing to provide "information, instruction, training and supervision" to ensure the health and safety of its employees.

On March 1, a $10,000 violation was handed to Iron Bay Holdings Ltd. / Shack Shine after one of its employees fell 16 feet off a roof in Coquitlam while cleaning gutters at a townhouse complex after nothing was done to ensure protection from such an incident.

More Tri-City work-safety fines

This latest fine was part of a combined $10,447.81 handed out to a trio of regional companies for recent high-risk violations — both in Coquitlam.

Dan City Framing (1257078 B.C. Ltd.) was set back $2,947.81 after one of its workers was injured from falling nearly 14 feet to the ground off an "elevated work area."

WorkSafeBC officials concluded that there was no protection system in place to prevent falls before the incident.

As well, a fine of $2,500 was issued to Vancouver-based Coastal Demolition Ltd. after WorkSafeBC found that nothing was done to ensure safe handling of asbestos-containing materials (ACM).

"The firm failed to ensure that workers required to wear respirators were clean-shaven to create an effective seal with the face, a repeated violation, and failed to ensure that workers wore respirators adequate for the anticipated level of exposure," the agency states. 

"The firm also failed to ensure its containment was adequately ventilated to maintain an inward airflow, and failed to ensure windows and other openings were secured to prevent the release of asbestos fibres into other work areas."

It was determined Coastal Demolition also did not provide health and safety information, training and supervision to prevent high-risk circumstances that stem from asbestos.