Gordon Campbell found responsible in roofer's death
Andrew Weichel, ctvbc.ca
Published Tuesday, March 6, 2012 3:35PM PST
Former premier Gordon Campbell failed to properly oversee safety measures at his Sunshine Coast vacation home last summer when a roofer fell to his death, according to a WorkSafe BC report.
Dave Lesko, 40, of Weather Tight Supplies was working with three other roofers and three carpenters when he fell backwards through a skylight at the Halfmoon Bay property last July 4, dropping almost 18 feet to the tile floor of the foyer below.
He was taken to Vancouver General Hospital, but died of his injuries the next day.
In documents released Monday, WorkSafe found that because Campbell hadn't designated any of the companies working simultaneously on the property as "prime contractor," the role became his by default.
WorkSafe says the prime contractor is responsible for "establishing a system or process to ensure compliance with health and safety requirements."
Investigators determined that at the time of the accident, two roofers were not wearing harnesses and the two who were weren't using them according to the manufacturer's instructions.
"There was no site-specific fall protection plan for this project. There was no coordination of fall protection even though seven workers from different employers were working at height in the same area with only two lifelines and no guardrails."
The report also says Campbell, who has since become Canada's High Commissioner to Britain, was unaware that he was considered prime contractor, or what responsibilities the role entails.
"He was not familiar with the requirements of the regulation, such as the need for a written fall protection plan. There was no discussion of health and safety with the subcontractors or how the activities of one trade would affect another," it says.
Though the home is in Campbell' wife's name, because he coordinated the renovation he is considered an "owner" under the Workers' Compensation Act.
The former premier's London office did not return ctvbc.ca's request for comment.
Weather Tight Supplies is also cited in the WorkSafe report as having failed to establish safe work procedures and provide adequate supervision.
The report does not detail potential penalties for any of the parties involved.