May 15, 2014 11:12 am
Updated: May 15, 2014 8:00 pm

Edmonton worker injured after falling down shaft

Watch above: A young man was rushed to hospital Thursday morning after an accident on a construction site. Vinesh Pratap has the story.

EDMONTON – An 18-year-old man was taken to hospital Thursday morning following a workplace injury in northeast Edmonton.

It happened just after 9 a.m. at a condo construction site near McConachie Way and McDonough Way.

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Global News

The worker, employed by Cornerstone Contracting, lost consciousness after falling down a ventilation shaft under construction. He then had to be extricated by emergency crews.

“Lucky for us, there was access from the outside so the workers on site managed to open up about a two-by-two foot hole, and [with the help of emergency crews] were able to get the patient onto a spine board,” said Captain Brad Kitiuk of Fire Rescue Services.

An Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) spokesperson says the man was standing on a piece of lumber about a metre and a half off the ground before he fell.

He had reportedly asked another worker to get a tool for him; when the co-worker returned with the tool, he found the man unconscious on the ground.

The extent of his injuries is still unknown.

OHS continues to investigate the incident.

In order to improve job site safety, OHS is also launching a summer inspection campaign, which will focus on residential building sites across the province. OHS officers will be paying close attention to the use of fall protection equipment by roofers and framers, as falls are a big source of workplace injuries.

The residential construction industry has shown declining injury statistics in recent years, but continues to be an area of concern. Now, inspectors will have one more punitive measure to help encourage safe practices on job sites.

“Historically we would only do stop use and stop work orders, basically shutting down the job site because it was a case of imminent danger,” explained Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. “But right now we can go one step further and we can actually hit the pocket book both of employees and employers in cases where the message obviously is not sinking in.”

The fines can be up to $10,000 per infraction.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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