Coroners report cites numerous safety violations in crane fatality in Metchosin

Man's death was caused in part by an unsuitable forklift for the job

A B.C. Coroners Service report has determined that a forklift not suitable for the work it was doing contributed to the death of man working on a job site in Metchosin in August of 2015.

Robert Davison, an employee of VI Electric who was 42 at the time, was killed by blunt force trauma when he was hit on the head by a utility pole at a Westwater Developments site. The pole was being installed by a Westwater employee utilizing a rough-terrain forklift when the pole swung and hit Davison as the forklift tipped over. he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The coroner’s report indicated that the forklift was not suitable for the task of moving the pole.

Coroner Courtney Cote said in the report that the type of forklift used is one “typically used to move palletized loads or other loads from grades to elevation. Based upon the design criteria, it is not designed to erect utility poles, specifically not on the terrain at the site with a grade varying between 20 to 24 per cent.”

Cote also listed many violations of the Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and safety Regulations, including a lack of proper training and safe work procedures.

An expert hired by the RCMP during its investigation said “the accident was preventable,” Cote wrote.

An investigation into the accident by WorkSafe B.C. is still underway.