Worker on Scissor Lift Electrocuted

Overhead power lines and elevating equipment can be a dangerous mix. You don’t even have to touch the power lines. Get close enough to one, and like lightning, the electricity can jump across an air gap. This is known as flashover, and it’s what happened to one young worker. The young worker had been cleaning […]

Concrete Pump Hose Whips, Killing Worker

I’m Aaron Feldman, Investigations Officer with WorkSafeBC. Inside the pipeline of a concrete pumper, air can get trapped and compress to hundreds of pounds per square inch of pressure. The release of this air can cause the hose to suddenly whip. Here, that cost one worker his life. Two workers had just completed a porch […]

Worker Pulled Through Woodchipper

I’m Brent Farnsworth, Investigating Officer with WorkSafeBC. I’m going to describe the investigation of an accident in which a worker was pulled through a woodchipper. Woodchippers are powerful machines. This one was a driven-feed type consisting of a diesel engine which drives a chipper blade and hydraulically powers the in-feed rollers. Branches are manually fed […]

Young Worker Burned in Drum Explosion

A young worker was using a plasma cutting torch to cut the top off a 45-gallon drum. The “empty” drum had previously contained windshield washer concentrate. which was 100% methanol – a flammable liquid. Only about a tablespoon evaporated inside a drum is enough to be explosive. The torch pierced the drum. Vapours from residual […]

Workers Killed While Servicing Tires

I’m Olaf Knezevic, Engineer with WorkSafeBC. Tires can explode with devastating force, causing injury or death. I’m going to describe three serious tire accidents. In the first accident, a worker was killed while removing a tire from a log stacker. This stacker’s tires are mounted on rims made up of several pieces, including an inner […]

Drum Explodes During Welding, Killing Worker

It doesn’t take much. Only about a tablespoon of acetone evaporated inside a 44-gallon drum creates enough vapour to make it explosive. At this kayak manufacturing shop, welding on an empty acetone drum cost a fibreglass worker his life. This is what happened. A worker wanted to make a shop cart from this empty acetone […]

When are Work Gloves Dangerous?

It seems like common sense: Wearing gloves to protect your hands. Almost always this is true, but when working around machinery with moving parts wearing gloves can actually create a danger. That’s what happened to Julie. Despite having no experience, Julie offered to help mill parts at a friend’s business. The business owner warned Julie […]

Shipping Container Explodes, Injuring Worker

A full tank of propane can generate the same explosive force as over a hundred kilograms of TNT. Stored inside a shipping container, this tank became a bomb. Workers at a construction site used this barbecue during their morning break. Afterwards, the burner valves were turned off. In the afternoon the barbecue, with its tank […]

Welding Explosion Injures Young Worker

A fire needs three things to burn: heat, oxygen, and fuel. Here a welder had the heat and the oxygen. Unbeknownst to him, he had the fuel, too. The ensuing explosion blew this deck right off the boat. This is what happened. A shop was hired to modify a boat to accommodate a different outboard […]