Workplace injury interrupts work at Parliament Station
Construction at Parliament Station was interrupted for four days Saturday after an employee working on Ottawa's light rail transit was injured in the tunnel.
According to the consortium building the LRT, an employee was sent to hospital Saturday, March 11, 2017 with non-serious injuries after falling from a platform along the centre median of Parliament Station. The employee was installing reinforcing steel or rebar. No other details were released about the inciden, but he was expected to return to work Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
"The worker was taken to hospital and given a CT Scan, no serious injuries were reported," wrote Kathryn Keyes, a spokesperson for the Rideau Transit Group in an email to CTV Ottawa.
The Rideau Transit Group said this is the 11th lost time injury since construction began. A lost time injury rate, or the number of injuries per million man hours worked, is used to compare workplace injuries. Keyes said Ottawa's rate of 0.32 per million man hours worked is better than the industry average for heavy civil construction in Ontario.
The President of the Ottawa and District Labour Council said news of any accident during construction is of grave concern.
"Just the fact that it happened and what else is happening? It seems like there is a lack of transparency," Sean McKenney said.
McKenney said he has heard from employees who fear the group is moving too fast. The goal is to finish the LRT by 2018.
"An overall quickness, an overall speed," said McKenney when asked about concerns he's heard from tunnel workers. "I've seen that often on construction projects where somebody is trying to, they have a timeline to meet and they're trying to get it done so they overlook some safety procedures."
But the Rideau Transit Group said that's not the case. A spokesperson told CTV Ottawa that it has three full time safety coordinators assigned to do twice daily safety inspections of the tunnels.
"Safety is a priority for Rideau Transit Group (and OLRT-Constructors). We continue to comply with all industry standards in terms of incident management and notification (such as notifying the Ministry of Labour when an incident/injury warrants)," Keyes wrote in an emailed statement.
The Ministry of Labour was called in to investigate Saturday's incident and issued several work orders including:
1) An order to ensure there are proper guardrail systems in place; (complied)
2) An order for the removal of waste material and debris; (complied) and
3) An order to ensure that a work area, a route to and from the work area and a scaffold platform on which is being performed is maintained at all times and kept clear of obstructions (complied).
4) A requirement to provide various documentation (in progress).
To AGF Raymond:
1) A requirement to provide various documentation (in progress).
The Ministry's investigation is on-going. The Rideau Transit Group said it has complied with the Ministry's work orders.