Peter Kiewit Fined $250,000

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: March 3, 2012

Worksafe BC imposed the highest penalty for work place violation on Peter Kiewit in 2011, the annual report of the regulatory body reveals.

Peter Kiewit Infrastructure was fined $250,000 for an incident in Powell River in which a worker was fatally struck by a rock estimated to be over 1.5 m in diameter.

The firm had allowed work to proceed without clearing loose material uphill. Unstable material had been identified in risk assessments; and the firm had failed to adequately train workers for the land clearing work, the annual report reveals.

In Squamish, Ascend Concrete and Excavating were fined $2,500 by WorkSafe BC.

Two of this firm’s workers were working without fall protection on a sloped roof where there was a risk of falling 28 feet to grade from the front of the roof and 50 feet. to grade from the back of the roof.

“The firm failed to ensure that the workers used fall protection as required. This was a high-risk violation,” the report says.

In 2011 WorkSafeBC imposed 352 penalties, totaling $4,883,489.89 against employers for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and the Workers Compensation Act.

The 352 penalties were imposed against 289 individual employers, with penalty amounts ranging from $700 to $250,000. A total of 16 penalties involved work-related fatalities.

“Monetary penalties are imposed on employers for repeated or serious violations of occupational health and safety regulations and to motivate to comply with their legal responsibilities,” said Jeff Dolan, Director of Investigations for WorkSafeBC.

“An employer is not penalized if they have taken all reasonable steps to prevent risks to their workers.”

In recent years WorkSafeBC has also directed a more intensive focus on the industries that present the highest risk to workers and on employers for whom compliance is known to be an issue — such as contractors and consultants involved in residential asbestos removal and demolitions.

In the Lower Mainland an estimated 300 homes are demolished each month, many of which are likely to contain asbestos if built prior to the mid-1990s.