Disaster narrowly avoided in the new bridge

News 31 March, 2018
  • Photo courtesy
    The arrow of the crane-Terex RT 780 approached too close to the line to 315 kV, near the tower located at the far right of the photo, a stone’s throw from the voie maritime du Saint-Laurent.

    Hugo Joncas

    Saturday, 31 march, 2018 01:00

    Saturday, 31 march, 2018 01:00

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    A worker was close to death last Sunday when he electrified the crane in the approaching too close to a high voltage power line on the construction site of the new Champlain bridge.

    The accident occurred at the pier is, on the side of Brossard, between highway 132 and la voie maritime du Saint-Laurent. The boom of the mobile crane must not approach within 8 yards of the line to 315 kv, but the operator has to climb up to at least 2.5 mr.

    With a high-voltage line, it is sufficient to cause an electric arc. The current is thus passed through the metal structure and has made its way to the ground.

    Fortunately, the operator, an employee of the Grues Guay, remained in his cabin and waited as the power of the line to be broken before you get off, pulling free.

    “We take very seriously this incident “near past” and we have made some fixes immediately, ” says the spokesperson of the manufacturer, Véronique Richard-Spoof.

    Disciplinary measures

    The Group Signature on the Saint-Laurent (SSL) has already taken “disciplinary measures important in respect of the worker and the foreman involved,” she adds.

    Hydro-Québec was able to re-process the line 15 p.m., four hours after the accident.

    “A team of line workers went to the scene to inspect the wire. If there is damage, this could be the subject of a claim, ” says Maxence Loonie-Lefebvre, Hydro-Quebec.

    The standards Commission, equity, health and safety in the workplace was prohibited SSL from working in the sector and use the crane until the end of the survey.

    “The inspectors have asked that the manufacturer provide a method of safe work “, said the spokesperson Julie Robitaille.

    Several workers believe that the measures of acceleration of SSL to finish in time the construction of the bridge contribute to increase the incidents of this kind.

    The consortium has suspended operations at the pier is, Tuesday afternoon, to meet with the workers.

    Other incidents

    “On this occasion, we reminded them of the importance of working safely and to remain alert to the risks,” said Ms. Richard-Spoof. We will never compromise on health and safety, and this, in spite of a schedule requiring. “

    In November, our Office of investigation, reported in two other accidents of crane on the construction site. In one case, the load to lift weighed 20 tons instead of 13 tonnes expected, which made up the base of the machine to 40 inches.