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Construction worker dies in fall from scaffolding in Calgary

Victim fell more than seven metres


(Canadian OH&S News) — A worker at a construction site in the southwest Calgary neighbourhood of Parkhill has died following injuries sustained in a fall on May 3.

The victim, an employee of Vedas General Contracting Ltd, was working on a scaffolding at the site at 115 41 Avenue SW near Stanley Road, when he fell about seven-and-a-half metres to the ground, according to Alberta Ministry of Labour (MOL) spokesperson Lauren Welsh.

“He was transported to hospital, where he passed away,” said Welsh, noting that the worker’s injuries had been fatal. “This happened around two in the afternoon.”

Welsh confirmed that the worker had been in his 50s, but his name has not been released.

Occupational health and safety officials are investigating the incident, and the MOL has issued a stop-work order on the construction site.

Vedas declined to comment to COHSN about the incident.

At present, it is unclear whether the man had been wearing fall-protection equipment at the time of the accident. “That’s definitely something we’re investigating,” said Welsh.

Richmond Park Developments, a local construction and development firm that builds homes in inner-city Calgary, is the prime contractor on the worksite, she added.

Appropriate fall-arrest gear is vital for anybody working at a height of three metres or more, according to information from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) in Hamilton, Ont. Any employer with workers at heights needs to establish a complete fall-protection program that includes training the workers as well as selection, fitting and inspecting of all equipment.

“Inspect your equipment before each use,” CCOHS recommends on its website. “Replace defective equipment. If there is any doubt about the safety of the equipment, do not use it and refer questionable defects to your supervisor.”