Safety violations result in fines

NANAIMO – Roofing company fined for failure of employees to properly use fall-protection gear.

A Nanaimo roofing company was fined close to $31,000 by WorkSafe B.C. last year, after workers failed to wear adequate protection gear.

Blake Erickson Roofing and Waterproof Services Ltd. was penalized twice in 2015 by the provincial health and safety organization, according to the recent issue of WorkSafe B.C. Magazine.

The company was fined more than $6,800 last July when WorkSafe B.C. found the company failed to provide its workers with information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure their health and safety. Two young employees were spotted working on a roof three metres above ground without fall protection and within sight of their supervisor.

Two months later, the company was fined $24,137 for violating fall protection requirements at two separate re-roofing job sites in Nanaimo and Duncan.

They’re the first fines the company has gotten in 15 years, according to Blake Erickson, president, who hasn’t appealed the penalty, but would like to see workers held more responsible than they are under the current system.

The company educates workers and provides them with safety equipment but Erickson said the difficulty in his industry is that workers can be in numerous locations at any given time and it’s difficult to supervise.

“It’s a young man’s occupation so drilling in the safety and the training and staying on top of it is an ongoing challenge for us,” he said. “If these young roofers knew if WorkSafe came around the corner they would be subjected to say a $500 fine, boy they’d be tied off all the time.”

Fifty-three construction companies were penalized last year and there were 38 fall protection-related offences.