Campbell case serves as reminder

I recently read a CTV news article that may be of a concern to each person who may be looking to renovate property this coming season.

Editor:

I recently read a CTV news article that may be of a concern to each person who may be looking to renovate property this coming season. Never mind the name of the individual in this case is former premier Gordon Campbell. The concern is that Mr. Campbell is being charged for something that he probably did not realize he was even responsible for.

A workman working with three other roofers and three other carpenters inadvertently fell backwards through a skylight, dropping 18 feet to a tile floor in the foyer below.

After having been taken to the Vancouver General Hospital, he was only able to survive with his injuries until the following day.

In recently released documents, WorkSafe BC has found Campbell in default because he had not designated one of the contractors working on the project as “prime contractor,” having failed to do this WorkSafe BC claims by default that Gordon Campbell is the prime contractor.  According to WorkSafe BC, Mr. Campbell as prime contractor should have established a system of health and safety procedures to ensure all workers on the project were in compliance.

Investigators found that some individuals were not wearing site-specific fall protection, and that there was no co-ordinated fall protection plan in place regardless that there were seven individuals from differing employers working in this area. WorkSafe BC found only two lifelines and no guard rails in place.

Although the home is not in Mr. Campbell’s name and is actually in his wife’s name, according to WorkSafe BC, because co-ordination of the project was in Mr. Campbell’s name he is considered the owner under the Workers Compensation Act.

It seems that Campbell was not aware that he was required to have a written fall protection plan in place as the owner, prime contractor.

This opinion is written to inform most of us of our possibly unexpected responsibilities in a situation similar to that which Mr. Campbell has found himself in. I do not know what penalties are involved. Mrs. Campbell’s house is located in Halfmoon Bay.

Doug Wilson

Williams Lake

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