WorksafeBC criticizes excavator joyride video
A YouTube video of a B.C. man going for an excavator joyride has raised a few questions on work safety after it went viral on Sept. 27, 2012. (YouTube)
Published Thursday, September 27, 2012 8:41AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, September 28, 2012 8:43AM PDT
WorkSafeBC says a YouTube video of a B.C. worker being swung around by an excavator at a construction site violates “a multitude of regulations.”
The 2009 video, which has now been removed, whirled around the internet after being posted to Reddit Wednesday and featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show recently.
The shocking video, posted by “rjw604,” went viral since a man posted it to Reddit with the caption “This is me. The clip even made it on Ellen and I never even got a lousy email.”
Regional director of WorkSafeBC Al Johnson said officers recognized the West Vancouver neighbourhood where the video may have been shot, but couldn’t confirm the location.
“If we knew where the site was we would follow up on that and talk to those parties,” Johnson said. “It’s really against all safe practice, never mind regulations.”
Johnson said they have the ability to write orders against the worker.
“These guys should know better that this is not tolerated or allowed. What this violates – it’s a list as long as your leg,” Johnson said. “I can’t see an employer allowing this on their site, and they would take action.”
The video has gotten more than 300,000 views in a couple hours and commenters have been quick to criticize the dangerous act both on YouTube and Reddit.
“The harness needs to be secured to a designated tie-off point. You cannot ride on equipment unless there is a designated seat, so the act itself is a violation. You cannot work in the swing-radius of equipment like this. Machinery should only be operated how it was designated for use,” one comment said.
Another comment pointed out the construction worker could have been killed.
“Extreme horseplay itself is another violation. But even if an employee is goofing around and they get injured or killed, it is still recordable. If they are using company equipment on company grounds they are technically working,” the comment said.
The man who posted the video defended himself, commenting, “This was years ago. Still have all my parts. I was young, dumb, and... having fun.”
Commenters also took shots at the person driving the excavator.
“This is pretty dangerous. A smart excavator operator would never agree to do this,” a viewer wrote.
Johnson said although some viewers may find the video funny, the potential for danger was very serious.
“There is a serious part of this, this is exactly what should not occur on a worksite, because people can get hurt,” Johnson said. "From our perspective they have no regard for health and safety... they put themselves and others at risk."
Johnson said they will investigate further if they can determine the identity of the men in the video.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Is this a dangerous work violation?