Editor’s note: It’s not the kind of “irony” that anyone wants to be a part of. Alex Caldwell, a frequent contributor to Canadian Contractor, was handing out leaflets on Fall Awareness to roofers and renovators in the same area of Toronto where a 34-year-old masoner fell two storeys to his death on Aug. 28. Here is his personal account of the aftermath of the tragedy.
By Alex Caldwell
That day I’m sure things started just like other days, as he walked through the door leaving his family behind heading to work. How did he know things would be different, that day, that he’d never return after his fatal fall from scaffolding on a Toronto new home construction site? Along with the massive changes now facing his family are the future hugs his kids won’t receive from him any more.
That same day, Aug. 28, I was handing out Fall Awareness flyers to contractors, renovators and builders in the area, just south of the 401 in North York. I arrived at the jobsite shortly after this fatal accident. I witnessed the disbelief and sadness on the faces of some rough, tough construction veterans.
What happened that day could be described as driving past a bad vehicle accident on the highway. We see the devastation, we slow down as we pass by and maybe we think safety for a few kilometres. Then as the scene fades in our rearview mirror, our foot hits the gas and once again complacency sets in. Listen, we’ve all driven hundreds of miles, climbed scaffolding, scaled ladders, used power tools and saws a thousand times without any serious mishaps. So why should today or tomorrow be any different?
CARAHS is a non profit association delivering Safety, Education & Benefits to Builders, Contractor & Trades. Call them toll-free at 1-866-366-2930 or visit their online courses at www.carahs.org