September 30, 2013
Concrete pour kills homeowner
Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is investigating two separate incidents involving concrete work at residential sites, in which an Edmonton women was killed and a man is in stable condition at a Calgary hospital.
“A worker was manoeuvring the boom of a concrete pump truck, when the coupler secured to the hose released and fell on the roof of the private residence,” said Alberta OHS spokesperson Lisa Glover. “The coupler rolled off of the roof and struck the homeowner. She was taken to the Royal Alexandra hospital, where she passed away due to her injuries.”
The incident happened while Rolling Mix Concrete was pouring concrete at a residence in Edmonton on Sept. 21.
The incident is being investigated by Alberta OHS officers, who have only partial jurisdiction, because their primary responsibility is to look at the protection of workers.
The City of Edmonton also has jurisdiction under the Safety Code Act.
The Calgary Fire Department said the second incident happened at about 11:40 a.m. on Sept. 23, when 911 was called from a house under construction at the 5900 block of Silver Ridge Drive N.W
“Two workers were in the basement at a residential construction project, when one worker was overcome by carbon monoxide and fainted,” said Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Spokesperson Lisa Glover.
The second worker called 911 regarding possible elevated carbon monoxide levels in a house and both were transferred to Foothills Hospital.
“Upon arrival, fire crews found one male who had evacuated the construction site and one male who was unconscious in the basement,” said a City of Calgary press release. “Fire crews rescued the unconscious male and both men were cared for by EMS (Emergency Medical Services).
Firefighters measured carbon monoxide levels as high as 970 parts per million (ppm) in the house.
Levels of 1200 ppm are immediately dangerous to life and health.
The two men were working in the basement cutting concrete using gas powered tools. Occupational health and safety has been contacted.
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is odourless, colourless, tasteless, and non-irritating. Prolonged exposure to high concentrations of carbon monoxide can lead to unconsciousness and brain damage. In very severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal.
For this reason, gas burning power tools that are intended for outdoor use should not be used indoors.
Glover said both men are employed by Marra Concrete.
“The first worker, who is 39 years old, remains in hospital in stable condition and the second worker was released without injury,” said Glover, who added there is a stop work order on all work until there is safe access to the construction site.
There is a stop work order on any activity that generates carbon dioxide.
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