Richmond company fined $10k after Burnaby worksite death

Blue Mountain Construction & Contracting also failed to comply with WorkSafeBC orders for 15 months after the worker's death

A worker died in an incident involving an excavator (not this excavator), according to WorkSafeBC reports | Shutterstock

A Richmond company has been fined a total of nearly $10,000 for a fatal incident in Burnaby involving an excavator and for flouting subsequent WorkSafeBC orders for at least 15 months.

On March 22, 2018, a Blue Mountain Construction & Contracting worker was killed by an excavator bucket that had fallen out of another excavator bucket while construction crews moved a load of lumber, according to a WorkSafeBC summary.

One bucket was stored inside the other to prevent theft, WorkSafeBC wrote, and when crews went to lift a load of lumber, the spare excavator bucket fell out and fatally struck a worker.

A WorkSafeBC investigation found no safety protocols for working around an operating excavator at the company, describing the failure to keep workers clear of the moving machinery as a “high-risk violation.”

The company was handed two fines related to the incident, including a $3,368 fine imposed on June 14 for the incident itself and the lack of safety precautions to prevent the incident.

Inspection reports obtained through a freedom of information request indicate an initial report on the lack of safety precautions was submitted on Dec. 14, 2018. Blue Mountain was given time to develop those rules and comply with other orders, but still had done nothing by a March 20, 2019 inspection, nor by a June 21 inspection.

The company was also fined $6,510 for failing to provide a proper investigation report on the incident. The report was due 30 days after the incident, and the company was given an extension, but it still handed its report in late. What’s more, the report had numerous issues, according to a WorkSafeBC report.

On May 18, 2018, a WorkSafeBC inspector wrote that the company’s investigation report lacked a witness statement, didn’t list all contributing factors or causes of the incident, made a factual error and didn’t identify a worker representative in the investigation.

Corrective actions listed in the report “did not reflect the contributing factors” in the incident, and there were not due dates included for when those corrective actions would be completed.

The WorkSafeBC inspector ordered the company to submit a proper report by May 31, 2018, but a July 13, 2018 WorkSafeBC report indicates no progress was made. The work safety authority filed three more similar follow-up reports between Sept. 15, 2018 and June 21, 2019.

While the company principal reportedly assured the WorkSafeBC inspector a report would be completed, one never was.

Ultimately, the WorkSafeBC inspector closed the file on June 21, and the fines were handed to Blue Mountain.

Burnaby Now