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WorkSafeBC releases safety bulletin on tower cranes

Published on: October 05, 2021

Richmond, B.C. — WorkSafeBC today released the bulletin, Top climbing a tower crane: Ensuring safe assembly and dismantling. This bulletin provides an overview of the potential hazard of top climbing a tower crane, and discusses how to reduce the risk.

The bulletin notes that failure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions may result in a structural failure that puts lives and property at risk.

It provides an overview of top climbing, discusses the hazards, employer responsibilities, safe work practices, and legal and regulatory requirements.

Kelowna tower crane collapse

The importance of tower crane safety was brought to the forefront in July 2021 when a tower crane collapsed while being dismantled at a construction site in Kelowna. As a result, five people were killed, including four workers involved in construction and a person unrelated to the construction site. Another worker was injured.

WorkSafeBC’s OHS Investigations team is currently investigating the tower crane collapse. During the investigation, WorkSafeBC is 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.

The purpose of WorkSafeBC’s investigation is to identify the cause of the incident, including any contributing factors, so that similar incidents can be prevented from happening in the future.

An incident investigation report will be prepared at the conclusion of the investigation.

Crane and Mobile Equipment Initiative

The potential for tower cranes to be hazardous is well known. As part of WorkSafeBC’s high-risk strategies for 2021-2023, the Crane and Mobile Equipment Initiative aims to identify and eliminate unsafe work practices and equipment hazards that have the potential to cause death, serious injury or catastrophic events.

WorkSafeBC continues to work with a number of industry stakeholders to ensure consistent understanding of tower crane erection, operation, inspection, and maintenance hazards, with respect to being in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.


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:

Media Relations, WorkSafeBC
Tel: 604.276.5157