Rooftop falls worry Yukon compensation board
The Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board is warning builders and contractors to protect themselves from falling off roofs, following three recent rooftop spills in Whitehorse.
The safety board's warning also comes after a fatal construction accident in Toronto, where four men fell 13 storeys to their deaths at a highrise building on Christmas Eve.
Compensation board president Valerie Royle said the Toronto tragedy has raised alarms about three recent falls reported in Whitehorse this past fall.
"We want to make sure that people realize this is not a Toronto issue; this is an issue right here in Yukon. The distance that people have fallen may not be the same, however, the results can be equally tragic," Royle told CBC News.
"We're not telling anyone not to go on roofs. We know that in the construction industry, that's an integral part of their job. But there's a way to do it to prevent injury."
Three Whitehorse construction workers slipped and fell off roofs they were working on during a two-month period.
Royle said preliminary investigations show that in all three cases, the injured workers should have worn safety equipment.
"We do know people are under pressure to try to get jobs done quickly ... it's so easy not to put on the fall arrest equipment," she said.
"What's more tragic in these situations is that all of these sites had fall arrest equipment available, and it just was not being used."
Royle said occupational health and safety inspectors are still looking into the three incidents.
Records for the year show there were 67 injuries from workplace falls, she added.