Construction company fined $3,500 in electrocution death

An Aldergrove company whose worker was electrocuted has been fined more than $3,500 in connection with the fatality.

An Aldergrove company whose worker was electrocuted on the roof of a White Rock home 2½ years ago has been fined more than $3,500 in connection with the fatality.

According to information in a recent WorkSafe BC report, L.S. Gutter Tech Ltd. was assessed a $3,598.86 penalty last May for failing to determine the voltage of nearby power lines or the distance to be maintained from them to ensure safety of the work; failing to provide workers with the necessary instruction, training and supervision; and failing to provide two young workers an orientation regarding specific hazards at the worksite.

Those and other violations resulted in the worker’s death, the report states.

A 23-year-old Burnaby man was killed May 4, 2009, when a 52-foot section of gutter he was carrying struck a 14,000-volt overhead power line. The victim was part of a three-man crew working in the 15200-block of Victoria Avenue at the time. The gutter struck the wire – which was about 12 feet from the eave near where the crew was working – as the men were putting it into place.

Despite firefighters’ efforts to revive him, the worker was pronounced dead at the scene. A second worker was taken to hospital.

At the time, WorkSafe BC spokesman Scott McCloy described the incident as “a preventable fatality.” He noted regulations prohibit any work that places workers or equipment within 10 feet (three metres) of power lines.

The tragedy was the eighth such death in B.C. since 2004.

The penalty – imposed two years to the day after the incident – was among 60 levied in April and May; of those, four involved fatalities.