Worker’s Expertise Helped Fix Landmark
EMBERS Staffing Solutions worker uses his construction safety skills to help repair Canada Place’s loosened panels and eliminate risk of injuries.
It’s not every day that our workers get called to an emergency job. But this past weekend, during the storms that hit the West Coast, one of our EMBERS Staffing Solutions Construction Safety Officers was called upon to use his expertise to get an important job done.
On Friday evening, four of the panels at Canada Place peeled back because of screw failure and high winds. It needed attention immediately, because with predicted winds of up to 50 kilometers per hour, there was high risk that panels might fly off, injure pedestrians, and damage property.
But not just anyone could fix the panels.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority required a Construction Safety Officer (CSO) to complete a fall hazard risk assessment and work plan before any work could be done. Dan, one of our EMBERS Staffing Solutions workers who hopes to be hired full-time as a CSO someday, was tasked for this role.
Here’s Dan’s story, from his own words:
I was called on Friday evening to deal with the Canada Place panels. Me and my team grabbed all the fall protection gear and tools we had and off we went. The Port Authority met us and we assessed the situation and came up with a plan, before doing a dry run. I drew up the fall hazard risk assessment, diagram of approach, and removal and rescue plan which was then approved by the Port Authority Safety Manager.
We faced a fall of more than 25 feet and wind gusts of over 25 kilometers per hour! Our greatest assets were a permanent life line and anchors on the roof. Thankfully, we were well prepared. My plan included rescue procedure with extraction by the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services and Port Authority operations team on standby, should we need them.
The work procedure was followed closely, and we were able to cut away and safely remove the panels, while ensuring everyone was safe. The Port Authority was happy, and we even got some overtime.
I’m glad that I finally got to put my CSO training to use. It was a potentially risky venture and time was crucial, but we moved quickly while the rain stopped and winds calmed. My supervisor was happy, and we had a story to tell when we got home.
After a five year journey from labourer to CSO, I finally found my way back to myself, doing something that has real meaning to me. I’m thankful to EMBERS for giving me back some purpose. I couldn’t be where I am today without focus, persistence and EMBERS’ guidance, care, training, and work opportunities. EMBERS makes a real difference in people’s lives and turn us into ‘unbreakables’!
Dan made sure the panels were fixed safely and that risks were eliminated! As an ex-combat engineer for the Canadian Forces, Dan was able to put his safety knowledge, and planning and reporting skills to good use. A true leader, we’re proud of his courage, commitment to safety and ability to get the job done.