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A Tragic Death in British Columbia Sparks Important WCB Safety Concerns

The Accident Raises Important Questions about WCB Regulations

The death of a construction worker in Saanich, British Columbia has sparked concerns that not enough is being done by the BC government to enforce safety in the work place.

Ronald Huetzelmann died on January 15th 2017 of injuries he suffered on January 10th. Huetzelmann “fell from the third floor of the Shire Urban Living development, currently under construction on Quadra Street”. Apparently, he was working on the third floor of the development without a safety harness. Irene Lanzinger, president of the B.C. Federation of Labour has commented: “Why Huetzelmann wasn’t using a safety harness while working three storeys off the ground in high winds will be a central question for the Workers’ Compensation Board to delve into”. It’s not yet known whether the WCB would have required the use of a harness in the circumstances Huetzelmann was working in on Jan. 10th 2017.

The WCB’s Policy on the Impact of Weather on the Workplace

A further concern raised by the incident is whether Huetzelmann should have been working at that height at all given that January 10th was a particularly icy and windy day. There is concern that if the WCB doesn’t have clear weather-dependent regulations for such circumstances – they should develop some.

A further comment from Lanzinger chillingly reminds the public of the B.C. Federation of Labour’s opinion on breaches of WCB regulation: “We believe that if an employer’s negligence causes the death of a worker, then the employer should face jail time,” Lanzinger said.

Ronald Huetzelmann died as a result of a construction accident at a Quadra Street work site.

Ronald Huetzelmann died as a result of a construction accident at a Quadra Street work site.

Huetzelmann’s death is a tragic reminder of the importance of safety in the work place and some of the B.C. Federation of Labour’s comments since the incident should remind all employers and workers that the safety industry is no-joke and regulations will be enforced. When followed appropriately, safety regulations should serve to prevent unnecessary deaths in the workplace and it is the employers who will be held accountable if their employees are not adhering to safety regulations in the workplace.

Pickering Safety Can Help You Make Sure You’re Meeting WCB Requirements

Pickering Safety wants to make meeting and surpassing WCB requirements easy for employers and employees alike. It is Pickering Safety’s mission to prevent accidents large or small as any injury, regardless of the scale can effect productivity in the workplace and quality of life for the injured party. Furthermore, while many suppliers simply retail products that ‘do the job’, Pickering Safety is aware that the quality of the products you buy to meet WCB requirements can save lives in the workplace. Many accidents and injuries happen not because safety equipment is completely lacking but because when push-comes-to-shove, the durability of the equipment is found defective.

If you have questions about what equipment you need on the job please give us a call. We have all the safety equipment you’ll need on a construction site including hard hats and fall protection equipment.