Monday, July 22, 2019

Safety inspector hurt while inspecting LRT tunnel safety in Ottawa

Inspector hurt

It’s an unusual case with an ironic twist that even the Ministry of Labour describes as a “very rare occurrence.”

An Ontario inspector whose job it was to make sure Ottawa’s light-rail transit tunnel is safe, got hurt while investigating the tunnel.

In this case, the Ministry of Labour inspector injured his leg while responding to an unrelated complaint in the LRT tunnel and has been off work for weeks, CBC News has confirmed.

Ministry officials cannot comment on the worker’s injury because it’s against privacy legislation, but said the incident was “non-critical,” which covers injuries less serious than a broken bone.

The injury is the latest in a series of problems, both big and small, on the $2.1-billion LRT Confederation Line that include a crane toppling overa massive sinkholeand a wall collapsing.

Some workers have been sent to hospital with injuries, others faced close calls and told CBC they were worried for their safety.

The inspector who was injured on July 5 had been called to investigate an unrelated complaint about 200 metres from the east end of Parliament Station.

Someone filed a complaint claiming there wasn’t enough functioning communication equipment inside the tunnel, according to the ministry. A radio telephone system is used in the tunnel so workers can talk to one another to perform their day-to-day work, or call for help if there’s an emergency, since there is no cellphone reception in the tunnel.

The ministry inspector was walking along the track level of the tunnel when he tripped in a hole that wasn’t visible because there was water on the ground, CBC confirmed.

Construction regulations state that a tunnel must be reasonably free of water if workers are present.

An LRT worker, who CBC is not naming because he said he fears reprisals at work, said “it’s not surprising to hear” someone was injured.

“There are tons of tripping hazards and lots of water,” he said. “You don’t know how deep it is. People try to avoid the water by trying to walk up on the wall but it’s always full of debris.”

Keep reading on CBC News

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