Death of worker in Richmond cranberry bog leads to safety blitz

Published: December 18, 2013

WorkSafe B.C. is investigating the death of a worker at the Columbia Cranberry Co Ltd cranberry farm in Richmond. Gerry Kahrmann / PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

WorkSafe B.C. is investigating the death of a Richmond farm worker who died after he fell into a watery cranberry bog.

According to WorkSafe B.C., on Oct. 30 two workers were harvesting cranberries in a flooded field at Richmond’s Columbia Cranberry Co. on Cambie Road when one worker became “submerged under the water.” His co-workers were able to pull him out of the water and he was transported to Richmond General Hospital in serious condition. He died three days later.

Geraldine Austin with the B.C. Cranberry Marketing Commission said the man suffered a heart attack before he fell into the bog, but WorkSafe B.C. couldn’t confirm it.

The man wasn’t wearing a personal flotation device, and according to the WorkSafe B.C. inspection report, this contravenes occupational health and safety regulations which state “a worker who is employed under conditions which involve a risk of drowning must wear a personal flotation device or life-jacket with sufficient buoyancy to keep the worker’s head above water.”

While many Fraser Valley cranberry farms have bogs that reach a maximum height of less than a metre — since they’re been set up on levelled sawdust — Richmond bogs are deeper because they “are set up sort of in this old system of cranberry farming,” according to WorkSafe B.C. spokeswoman Ally Skinner-Reynolds.

“There are parts where the water can be as deep as 5½ feet,” she said. “If you fill up or become stuck in the mud — a combination of force and gravity — it can be very hard to get out once you’ve gone under.”

WorkSafe B.C. is investigating the death of a worker at the Columbia Cranberry Co Ltd cranberry farm in Richmond. Gerry Kahrmann / PNG

And according to the WorkSafe inspection report, “the employer did not provide personal flotation devices to workers.”

While the inspection is ongoing, WorkSafe B.C. has already ordered workers at Columbia Cranberry Co. — who have been contracted by Surrey-based Unique Labour Force Ltd. — to wear flotation devices when working in the field.

Calls to Unique Labour Force Ltd. were not returned.

A number of Richmond farms have followed suit with the recommendation, according to Wendy Bennett with the Farm and Ranch Safety and Health Association.

“I know specifically of two other organizations who immediately went out and made sure they were providing their workers with PFDs,” she said. “They want to do everything they can to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”

“It was very tragic.”

A Farm and Ranch Safety and Health Association consultant has also been meeting with workers at Columbia Cranberry Co. on a weekly basis since the Oct. 30 incident, to provide tools, training and resources for a safe working environment, added Bennett.

WorkSafe B.C. also conducted an “inspection blitz” at more than 20 cranberry farms across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to ensure safety mechanisms are in place for next harvest.

lcahute@vancouverdesi.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , , , , , ,





Featured

ADOPTION INDIA

India’s ‘shameful’ adoption record

With 30 million orphans, just 2,500 adoptions took place in India in 2014 RAMA LAKSHMI WASHINGTON POST When Shreya Roy applied to adopt an orphan…
Continue Reading »

allergy-death-manslaughter

Restaurateur faces manslaughter charge after customer died of peanut allergy

IANS London – An Indian restaurant owner in Britain has been charged with manslaughter following the death of a customer after eating curry prepared at…
Continue Reading »

ferocious pets

Exotic Pets: African lioness kept as pet in central Pakistan gives birth to litter of 5 cubs

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MULTAN, Pakistan — It’s a baby boom for the owner of a pet lioness in central Pakistan. The African lioness named Queen…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Vancouver car sales

Planning to buy a new car? Check out what’s on offer at Like It Buy It Vancouver

POSTMEDIA NEWS Act fast to buy your dream car at a discount. A rare new Roush RS3 race car is on sale now for 25…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Yoga Fashion

Lululemon sees surge in fourth-quarter sales

MICHELLE MCQUIGGE THE CANADIAN PRESS Strong North American sales helped drive fourth-quarter results at Lululemon Athletica Inc., but the Vancouver-based retailer says its hopes for…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Canadian YouTube sensation Superwoman meets Bollywood’s ‘Dilwale’

IANS Mumbai – Indo-Canadian YouTube sensation Lilly Singh, famously known as Superwoman, met filmmaker Rohit Shetty and actor Varun Dhawan on the set of their…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver car sales

Planning to buy a new car? Check out what’s on offer at Like It Buy It Vancouver

POSTMEDIA NEWS Act fast to buy your dream car at a discount. A rare new Roush RS3 race car is on sale now for 25…
Continue Reading »

India-Vancouver Desi

Justin Bieber’s roast on Indian TV on Fools’ Day

IANS New Delhi – Singer Justin Bieber’s infamous ‘roast’, hosted by Kevin Hart, will hit Indian television on April 1, just months after the controversial…
Continue Reading »

messy custody battle-desi lingerie model

Jeremy Renner’s messy divorce from B.C. model gets messier as custody battle rages

VANCOUVER DESI A B.C. woman who was married to Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner is being accused of being a gold digger and blackmailer who has…
Continue Reading »

India-Canada-Vancouver Desi

Indian PM Narendra Modi to visit Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa in April

VANCOUVER DESI Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to Canada in April, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Wednesday. Modi will be visiting Toronto, Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

India marriage-abuse-prostitution-poverty

Indian child bride became a mother of three at age 14, was forced into prostitution by husband, then abondoned

HINDUSTAN TIMES She was barely 10 when her parents sold her off, became a mother of three by the age of 14 and was abandoned…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood bride

Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma becomes a bride, not for Kohli but 7Up

IANS New Delhi – “Band Baaja Baaraat” actress Anushka Sharma, who was spotted at the India-Australia cricket match in Sydney on Thursday, had decked up…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood-Cricket

Bollywood filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma’s cricket bomb: I am sooooo happyyy India lost

HINDUSTAN TIMES We have an advice for filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma and it’s a simple one: Think before you tweet. Hot on the heels on…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actor Salman Khan

Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s statement to be recorded in hit-and-run case

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood mega star Salman Khan will step into the witness box on Friday to record his statement on the 13-year-old hit-and-run case…
Continue Reading »