WorkSafeBC Home

Panels collapsed onto worker as structure was dismantled

Date of incident: June 2014
Notice of incident number: 2014170000027
Employer: Construction labour supply company

Incident summary
Workers were in the process of dismantling two freestanding golf simulators, located inside a casino. The golf simulators were composed of modular panels connected with locking fasteners. After the first simulator was dismantled, the floor panels of the second simulator were removed. One of the walls started moving, and then the wall and ceiling panels of the second simulator collapsed. One of the workers was inside the simulator cleaning up debris. He was struck and pinned by the wall and ceiling panels and sustained serious injuries.

Investigation conclusions

Cause

  • Unsupported walls collapsed: The golf simulators were not designed as standalone structures. They were fitted within an area surrounded by structural walls of the main building, which assisted in keeping them stable. When the first simulator was removed, the second one became unstable. Movement of the floor and walls during dismantling caused lateral sway of the simulator. The lack of temporary support allowed the ceiling and walls to collapse onto one of the workers, who was seriously injured when he became trapped under the debris.

Underlying factors

  • Inadequate planning: The management of this worksite did not adequately plan for the removal of the golf simulators, nor did they properly assess the risks involved with the job or devise a plan to control, eliminate, or reduce the risks.
  • Ineffective work procedures: The demolition subcontractor did not develop any safe work procedures for the removal of the simulators. The foreman deviated from the procedure he had used to remove the first simulator and decided to dismantle the second simulator in a different manner. The work procedure selected was ineffective and, as a result, the second simulator collapsed on one of the workers.
  • Failure to stabilize standing walls: The demolition subcontractor did not make certain that the walls of the simulator were supported to ensure stability when the floor was removed. This contributed to the collapse of the ceiling and walls.
  • Failure to coordinate multipleemployer worksite: The prime contractor did not fulfill its obligation under the Workers Compensation Act to coordinate the activities of other employers and their workers in respect of occupational health and safety on this jobsite. The prime contractor did not establish or maintain a system or process to ensure compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

Request the full report

Publication Date: Jul 2017 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2014170000027