Saturday, January 29, 2011

VANOC hit with $75,000 scaffold safety penalty

read the full article at The Globe and Mail:
WorkSafeBC has fined VANOC $75,000 for less than Olympian safety practices during the post-Games dismantling last year of the snowboard stadium at weather-plagued Cypress Mountain.

According to a safety inspection report dated last March and disclosed this week, workers were climbing to the top of scaffolding by using footholds on vertical poles, rather than by ladder, as required by provincial construction regulations.

Although the workers were employed by a subcontractor, VANOC was listed on the safety report as the site’s prime contractor and hit with the penalty.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CMAW Scaffolders featured in WorkSafe Magazine

read the full article at
Mike Moore, owner of the Prince George-based Chinook Scaffold Systems, says he rarely sees falls from scaffolding on the larger industrial sites his company oversees. But since he began in the scaffolding business 25 years ago, he's been more concerned about the absence of training in the industry overall.

'In Europe,' he points out, 'not only does scaffolding have an apprenticeship; they're the highest paid of all the trades.'

Learn the ropes...and tubes and clamps

In B.C., however, Moore says it's usually up to individual scaffolding companies to provide their own training in the safe use of scaffolding. 'When we put out a call for workers, we may or may not get people trained in using a scaffold,' he says.

To address this problem, Moore recently asked two of his staff (one of them certified in scaffold training) to create a six-week scaffolding training course. Now when he hires carpenters for temporary construction work, he says he can rest assured they will first be trained to work safely around scaffolds.

The Chinook course, developed in 2009, is now widely available in B.C., and the Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers Union sponsors its members to take the training. 'Proper training in the construction and use of structure scaffolding is long overdue,' says Local Unit 1998/1237 business manager Ron Knellar.

WorkSafe Magazine - January/February 2011 - WorkSafeBC "High maintenance Scaffold safety and training"
click here to download the WorkSafe article directly as a pdf

Monday, January 24, 2011

Worker who died after fall at Canada Place hadn't tied off his safety harness

read full article By Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun
The worker who died two days after falling 14 metres while working on the sails at Canada Place Dec. 2 "was not using a personal fall protection system" at the time of the accident, according to an initial report by WorkSafeBC.

It appears that Diego Herrera, 30, was wearing an unattached safety harness when he fell through what is described as a "mouse hole" in the sails. The inspection report found there had been a number of violations of safety regulations at the work site and said there were grounds for imposing an administrative penalty against Birdair Inc. of Amherst, N.Y.

The company was hired to replace the sails at Canada Place by Ledcor Construction Ltd., which is managing the project on behalf of Canada Place Corporation.

"Further action on this administrative sanction will be delayed until Fatal and Serious Investigations has concluded its investigation and issued its findings," said the inspection report written by Stephen McCollum.

Karen Mathews, general counsel for Birdair Inc., said the company was cooperating fully with WorkSafeBC's investigation of the incident. She said Herrera was well trained in fall and safety procedures and was wearing a rope-access harness at the time of his tragic fall.

"While there were several tie-off points available at the location no one has the answer at this time as to why Mr. Herrera failed to tie-off," she said.

Read more:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

CMAW Local 2300 Stewards Course at Kinnaird Hall

CMAW President Jan Noster gives an overview of the duties of the Shop Steward.

Business Agent Paul Wilkinson, left, in front of the new Local 2300 training sign as CMAW Executive Board member Paul R. Nedelec, right, discusses jurisdictional work assignments.

Jan Noster hands out CMAW pins.

CMAW Financial Secretary Mike Fenton outlines grievance criteria and procedures.

From top left counter clockwise to top right: Mike Fenton, Paul Wilkinson, John Post, Dean McKellor, Jodie Lemieux, Braeden McPhee, Dave Kutzner, Richard Steer, Jessie Gregory, Eric Salo, Ian McNeil, Darryl Cowen, Bob Laktin, Carey Bagg, Joe Hetherington, Stan Rilkoff, George Stevens, Myles Stearn, Kevin Blackman

Thanks to the instructors and members that spent the weekend improving our union.

photos by doc livingston cmaw2300/cep2040

Friday, January 21, 2011

CMAW 1928 Locked out

British Columbia Federation of Labour:
Date Commenced: Locked Out December 23, 2010
Local: 1928
Type: Strike
Employer: Cove Top & Flash Cove Employees
Issue: Concessions, Wages
Status: Current