Five men were killed in this crane collapse in Kelowna on Monday.


July 15, 2021 – 8:00 p.m.

Two videos posted on social media showing the removal of what appears to be the first section of the crane that collapsed in Kelowna have upset a union official who is concerned about workers’ safety.

A video on Reddit has the StemmerCrane logo in one corner and the phrase “First Section Coming Out” at the top of the video. Parts of it are repeated in a YouTube video that is commented on by a very critical commentator.

They show workers high above the ground without the usual safety equipment such as hard hats and ties.

This video can be seen here.

“From a union representative’s point of view and the training we deliver and the regulations you need to obey,” Frank Carr told today, July 15, as he watched the video. “You must wear a hard hat, goggles, gloves and safety clothing. When our members are trained, we follow the rules and follow the correct protocol. ”

Stemmer Construction from Salmon Arm says on their website that the Brooklyn Apartment Tower is one of their projects and it shows pictures of cranes. In the Brooklyn project, five men were killed in the crane collapse on Monday, including Eric and Patrick Stemmer.

The company phone rang today without anyone answering, and no voicemail option was available when called. The website appears to have been shut down.

The Factory Engineers Union managed to enforce mandatory crane operator certification 20 years ago and an association called BC Crane Safety was formed to oversee it. Nobody there would talk to about crane safety.

Carr is one of the few people who are connected to the industry and speak to the media.

He tries to obtain a mandatory certification for the dangerous assembly and dismantling process of tower cranes as well as a registration of the qualified.

The Kelowna crane was just being dismantled when the top part crashed. It’s one of the worst medical disasters in history.

READ MORE: Kelowna tower cranes collapse as one of the deadliest in recent history

Carr said the comment on the YouTube video was “not very wrong” and that basic safety procedures appear not to have been followed.

“Wearing hard hats and safety equipment is part of your work day,” he said. “People have to be safe. People have to follow rules so that they can go home every day. There are a lot of good rules and if you stick to them, we all go home every day. ”

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Photo credit: YouTube

Most construction sites this size – the Mission Group, which is building the skyscraper, said there were more than 100 workers on site – usually have their own health and safety officers.

Even though the crane company was a subcontractor, it is still required to follow site rules, Carr said.

“Most locations have their own security guards on site,” said Carr. “The management also bears responsibility. Management will ensure that the protocol is followed by their supervisors and foremen. ”

He noted that WorksafeBC’s inspectors cannot be at all locations at all times to ensure safety regulations are being followed.

“In my opinion, the general contractor rules still apply when subcontracting a job site,” said Carr. “All of the general safety rules by which we operate apply whether you are the general or the subcontractor or the worker, you must obey the rules.”

The union has a decade-long training center in Maple Ridge and a state-of-the-art training facility in Texas operated by the international union.

The Southern Interior Construction Association did not comment on safety regulations for construction sites in general.

WorkSafeBC did not make anyone available for an interview despite repeated requests.

You have sent a link to a tower / self-erecting crane pre-assembly / disassembly tool that has three pages of check-offs with clearance areas for the owner, general contractor, assembly / disassembly manager, and prime contractor.

However, in response to follow-up questions, WorkSafeBC refused to say whether this form is required or whether it was completed for this job.

“We are unable to answer the rest of the questions about this particular case during an open investigation,” WorksafeBC media representative Andy Watson wrote in an email.

He has posted links to health and safety regulations that cover topics such as head protection and tie-down rules.

“In every work area where there is a risk of head injuries from falling, flying or thrown objects or other harmful contacts, a worker must wear safety headgear,” says Section 8.11 (1).

“Unless otherwise provided in this regulation, an employer must ensure that a fall arrest system is used when working in a location (a) that can fall from three meters (10 feet) or more,” it says Section 11.2 (1).

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