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WorkSafe issues penalty after worker falls nearly 20 feet

Penalty after worker falls

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.

Another set of WorkSafeBC documents provide more context behind a $2,500 penalty issued after a worker fell nearly 20 feet at a job site last year.

The unredacted files provided to Castanet by Thane David of Spraytek Exteriors state it was a third party that left a roof hole open on the under-construction roof of the building.

The Spraytek employee ended up falling through the hole, which was previously covered with plywood, when they lifted the wood while clearing debris from the roof on Oct. 8, 2019.

David said the board covering the hole was supposed to be labeled and secured.

“But was removed and therefore... looked like nothing more than a regular piece of wood on the roof,” he said.

The employees had not been wearing fall protection because they thought the short wall surrounding the roof was high enough that it was not required. The wall was 81 centimetres, below the minimum of 102 cm for a legal guardrail. David said his workers were under the impression the walls met the legal requirements.

The documents provided by David did, however, confirm that his employees were videotaped climbing on the outside of scaffolding at heights of up to 50 feet, which is against safety requirements.

David did not say if he would be filing an appeal of the penalty.


ORIGINAL 4 a.m.

WorkSafeBC has issued a $2,500 penalty after a serious workplace accident last year at a job site in Kelowna. 

Thane David, doing business as Spraytek Exteriors, was a subcontractor at an under-construction hotel near the Kelowna Airport at 1665 Innovation Drive, according to a WorkSafeBC post-incident inspection report.

While two of his workers were clearing debris from the roof of a swimming pool structure on Oct. 8, 2019, one of the workers fell 19 feet through a roof opening and sustained serious injuries. The worker at the time was not wearing fall protection. 

The ensuing investigation by WorkSafeBC captured workers on CCTV cameras climbing outside scaffolding without fall protection and working on a scaffolding system that has open hatches and fall hazards on the walkways. 

The primary contractor at the job site had previously told Spraytek Exteriors to close the hatches when they were not in use, according to the WorkSafeBC inspection. 

The investigation found five violations of Occupational Health and Safety regulations and two violations of the Workers Compensation Act. WorkSafeBC issued the $2,500 penalty on Oct. 1, 2020.

The extent of the fallen workers injuries were not disclosed in the WorkSafeBC documents, which included significant redactions. 

Spraytek Exteriors has since gone out of business in B.C. and could not be reached. An Alberta company with a similar name, Spraytek Insulation Ltd., was not involved in the job site or accident in any way, according to its owner, who said there are several similarly named businesses operating in Canada. 

WorkSafeBC spokesperson Ivy Yuen said that even though Spraytek Exteriors has gone out of business, “an outstanding penalty amount continues to be owed, even if an employer has closed operations.”

“A penalty amount may be transferred to a successor business where a business is sold or reorganized.”



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