Fifty-one-year-old Roland Huetzelmann died in hospital Jan. 15, 2017, days after he fell while working on a residential building on Quadra Street. (Submitted)

Saanich worker’s death in 2017 lands employer $7,900 fine

WorkSafeBC details penalty, the second of three fines for fall protection violations

The 2017 death of a construction worker in Saanich landed his employer an approximately $8,000 fine.

Cedar Grove Framing Corp. was handed the penalty — $7,944.63 — in December 2018, according to the most recent issue of WorkSafe magazine and the WorkSafeBC website.

The worker, who died in hospital on Jan. 15, 2017, days after he was injured, is not named by WorkSafeBC but was identified as 51-year-old Ronald Huetzelmann shortly after the incident. He was working on a building on Quadra Street when he sustained the injuries.

According to WorkSafeBC, a gust of wind lifted a sheet of plywood, which Huetzelmann grabbed, and pushed him into a guardrail. The guardrail then broke and he fell nearly 10 metres – 32 feet – to the concrete below.

READ ALSO: Construction site death raises questions over safety standards

READ ALSO: Death of construction worker in Saanich could be prevented, family says

His brother, shortly after the death, told Black Press Media he suffered injuries to his pelvis, spinal cord and head.

He was not tethered or wearing a harness.

A railing consisting of two-by-fours rimmed the area where Huetzelmann was working, according to his girlfriend, Corinne Desjarlais, who also spoke with Black Press Media after the incident. Both she and Huetzelmann’s brother said they felt the protection was inadequate given the cold and blustery conditions.

Wind speeds that day — Jan. 10, 2017 — reached a maximum of 56 kilometres an hour, Environment Canada numbers showed.

WorkSafeBC’s details indicate Cedar Grove Framing did not ensure the guardrails were built following regulatory requirements and did not ensure the use of other forms of fall protection.

The fine is the second of three laid against the company since early 2018, the provincial agency’s website shows.

The first fine, also for $7,944.63, was laid in January 2018, while the third, for $20,880.40, was dealt in March. All three detailed fall protection violations.


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