WorkSafeBC investigating Kelowna crane collapse

Published on: July 15, 2021

Richmond, B.C. — WorkSafeBC is conducting an investigation into the tower crane collapse that occurred on July 12, 2021, in Kelowna, B.C.

A catastrophic failure occurred while workers dismantled a tower crane at a construction site located at 1471 St. Paul St. During the dismantling process, the top of the crane collapsed and struck neighbouring buildings. As a result, five people were fatally injured, including four workers and a person unrelated to the construction site. One additional worker was injured.

As the regulator for occupational health and safety in B.C., WorkSafeBC is mandated by legislation to investigate serious workplace incidents, including those that resulted in the death or serious injury of a worker. An investigation may also result in enforcement action under the Workers Compensation Act.

Owners, prime contractors, and employers are ultimately responsible for the safety of workers at their worksites. It is WorkSafeBC’s role to enforce occupational health and safety requirements in the Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

During the investigation, WorkSafeBC will be working with subject-matter experts and engineers to examine the crane components, sequence of events, and work procedures that took place during the dismantling process. This will be done to identify the cause of the incident and contributing factors that led to this terrible tragedy. WorkSafeBC investigators will also examine all relevant documentation and other evidence, as well as conduct witness interviews.

At this time, the incident scene continues to be managed by the Kelowna RCMP. WorkSafeBC investigators are currently working with RCMP and subject-matter experts to do the following:

  • Examine the incident site, including equipment involved.
  • Interview workers, managers and other witnesses with relevant information on the incident.
  • Collect relevant documents, such as equipment operating manuals, written procedures and training records.
  • Collect other relevant evidence, such as video and photographs.
  • Conduct tests on materials or equipment.

The evidence and information collected will be analyzed to:

  • Determine a sequence of events.
  • Examine significant events for unsafe acts and conditions.
  • Explore the contributing factors that made the unsafe act or condition possible.
  • Identify any health and safety deficiencies.

At the conclusion of a WorkSafeBC investigation, an incident investigation report is prepared. The primary purpose of a WorkSafeBC incident investigation report is to identify the cause of the incident, including any contributing factors, so that similar incidents can be prevented from happening in the future.

In addition to the investigation, WorkSafeBC’s Claims and Rehabilitation Services group has specialized teams mobilized to respond to this incident. These teams will provide support to affected workers, employers, and family members of the deceased. All related claims will be managed quickly, consistently and with a focus on the individual needs of those affected by this tragic event.

Additional Information:

Media backgrounder: WorkSafeBC Investigations

About WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC engages workers and employers to prevent injury, disease, and disability in B.C. When work-related injuries or diseases occur, WorkSafeBC provides compensation and support to people in their recovery, rehabilitation, and safe return to work. We serve approximately 2.3 million workers and 255,000 employers across B.C.

For more information, contact:

WorkSafeBC Media Relations
Tel: 604.276.5157