WorkSafe blames lack of inspection on faulty garage door incident
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/02/2012 -- The city of Vancouver has failed to properly maintain a heavy garage door that crashed onto two men, one of whom was lucky to survive after undergoing back and heart surgeries.
The incident occurred September 10 at the Manitoba Works Yard. The Workers’ Compensation Board inspection reports obtained the information by the Province. The WCB issued safety orders that have been levied against the city, stating that they found a number of such doors were unsafe and not regularly inspected or maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The two workers were caught under the door after entering the service bay. The cables on the door snapped, and caused the door to strike one man and pin another to the ground.
Coworkers of the two men said the man was pinned underneath the door while the other lay unconscious, and that the man who was trapped was lucky to be alive.
Fellow workers rushed to the scene to pry the door off him and attempted to perform first aid on the man to stabilize him before paramedics arrived. He was taken to a Vancouver General Hospital for surgery, and was forced to return to the hospital for heart surgery.
The other man involved in the injury injured his shoulder and both men are off work as they recover from the injuries.
In the WBC report, they noted 25 of the large doors installed 46 years ago have been put out of service as they investigate the accident. This motion has been put in place to prevent further incidents from occurring.
According to one worker, the doors had been inspected once a month, but management chose to reduce maintenance to twice a year.
The WBC stated that the last inspection done on the door was April of 2012.
“The employer has failed to ensure that regular inspections are made ... [in order to] prevent the development of unsafe conditions,” WorkSafe B.C. alleged.
A city council budget meeting weeks after the accident saw Andy Woodford, vice president of CUPE 1004, states that work crews in the city have concerns during budget cuts, reduction in prevention, and managers in a “fear based” workplace.
“My members tell me that they have been instructed to work harder, to cut corners, and they are told not to complain, or face being contracted out,” Woodford said. “We have a lot of members that are hurt.”
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