Canadian Roofers Electrocuted After Ladder Grazes Power Lines
PITT MEADOWS, British Columbia — Two roofers are lucky to be alive after their ladder came in contact with power lines and gave them a shock on Wednesday.
According to the Abbotsford News, several paramedic crews were sent to Pitt Meadows around 1 p.m. in response to reports of two men being electrocuted. Two roofers were packing up for the day at a jobsite when their ladder veered too close to high-voltage power lines.
Deputy Fire Chief Brad Perrie said it’s possible that the ladder didn’t actually make contact with the power lines, but may have come close enough that the current arched over to the ladder. He said there will be a full investigation, and WorkSafe BC has been notified of the incident.
The two roofers, reported to be in their 40s, had contact burns but were conscious when taken to Royal Columbian Hospital. Perrie said they may have been unconscious prior to the arrival of paramedics.
“So, we believe they’re non-life-threatening injuries, until they get evaluated at Royal Columbian,” Perrie said, adding it’s possible they could have internal injuries. “I just know that they did receive a good jolt, and they were probably pretty lucky.”
Unfortunately, not all roofing contractors are as fortunate. Last fall, a 64-year-old roofing contractor in Pennsylvania died after being electrocuted and falling. In September 2018, a 16-year-old male roofer was electrocuted when maneuvering an extended 25-foot ladder and coming into contact with a power line.
Around 17 electrocution deaths in the construction industry from 2008 to 2010 were roofers, with nearly 60% of all electrocution fatalities for non-electrical workers being caused by power lines. Electrocution is considered one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “Focus Four Hazards,” which along with falls, caught-in or -between, and struck-by, are the top causes of construction fatalities.