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New safety regulations for Children’s Hospital worksite in Saskatoon

SASKATOON – Construction workers at the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan returned to the site Monday in Saskatoon, with new safety measures in place after a forklift pierced a window Wednesday afternoon. No one was inside the four-bed patient room of Royal University Hospital (RUH) and there were no injuries.

However, the Saskatoon Health Region and Graham Construction put the project on hold, until a more comprehensive safety plan could be put forward.

READ MORE: Work halted at children’s hospital after forklift hits RUH windows

New measures include installing plywood over windows near the site, along with a two-metre physical barrier between the area under construction and its surroundings.

“It’s a complicated site. It’s one that poses some unique challenges that we typically don’t face on our projects – working so close to the general public and staff,” said Tom Holfeld, district manager with Graham Construction and Engineering.

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On Tuesday, ground-level foot traffic will be shut down between the parkade and RUH. People will need to walk into the parkade and to the elevator entrance on the third level.

Graham Construction is also expanding on-site risk assessment expectations for workers, in order to establish new precautions in the future.

“We took this very, very seriously,” said Saskatoon Health Region president and CEO Dan Florizone. “We’re confident in Graham’s plan in terms of taking it equally seriously.”

Members of both the Saskatoon Health Region and Graham Construction will also work as part of a new safety committee.

Despite the five-day pause and the new regulations, the project’s timeline isn’t expected to be impacted.

The Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan is scheduled to open in 2019.

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