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October 27, 2017 5:03 pm

Photo Sparks Safety Questions

Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 2:00 PM

Prince George, B.C. –  A photo which the City of Prince George released last week showing  workers making the final connection on the  water main loop they were installing,  raised plenty of questions.

After posting the image ( posted at right) comments  on  250News, and the City’s own facebook page,   wondered if the  trench had been properly sloped or shored up.

There were also  questions about the safety of having  workers “under the bucket” of  an  excavator, and if those  workers were being exposed to  exhaust and gas  fumes.

250News posed those questions to  the City this morning,  and  Senior Communications  Officer,  Michael Kellet says  there  were no safety issues .  He says  at no time were  any workers  under the bucket of the excavator  “We believe it’s a matter of perspective in the photo that makes  it appear someone is under the bucket.”

As for the slope,  Kellet says “Safety representatives were on site during the construction to confirm that safe excavation practices were being done.”  He also says  gases were not a concern “due to the size  (of) the excavation and the exhaust  from the unit blowing out in the opposite direction.”



“He says at no time were any workers under the bucket of the excavator “We believe it’s a matter of perspective in the photo that makes it appear someone is under the bucket.” — they must think the viewing public is stupid. Even though it appears to be a cloudy day the area they are working is shaded by the bucket.

    Seriously? Look again.

    “shaded by” does not imply “under” unless the sun is directly overhead.

hmmm, seems like everyone is an expert.


The strap is shaded by the bucket and the one red hard hat on its own under the strap behind the piping does look to be close to “under the bucket” but that all is determined by visual perspective and how log the strap was.

If that was a private contractor, WCB would have shut that job down. Open excavation… yeah..

other than 8 people doing the work of 4, nothing to see here!

    And three of them are standing around.

How many of you even know and can interpret the regulations for excavation work! sounds like a lot of wanna be’s here.

    Very true I deal with WorkSafe regularly and it’s amazing how many people love giving opinions but few actually know the regulations if your going to backseat drive you might want to learn the regulations that go along with what your backseat driving over

      Ya me too, I deal with worksafe regularly too and know the regulations pertaining to excavations. Been working in the construction business most of my life. See how easy it was for me to say that without actually having to prove it. Would that make me an expert in your eyes? Probably not, so forgive me if I don’t take your word for it that you actually know what you are talking about too.
      @Grizzly2… put your specks on and take a closer look, seems you must be very near sighted.

      Besides, how could they not be under the bucket when you can clearly see the bucket is used on a short strap to jostle the joint in place. If I was the union rep or Worksafe BC I would have serious questions about the workers safety on this job.

      Bent, The two workers on the far side of the pipe are obviously clear of the bucket, it is to their right. that tells me that the guy closes to the slope, on top of the pipe is also clear and not directly under the bucket. all others are clear.

      The old saying is “a picture tells a thousand words” in this case, i think it is deceiving as to the actual position of the workers until you really look at it. Saying that, Why do so many think that they are safety experts by just looking at the photo. I am sure if you were on site, you would have seen things were done correctly.

      Just my observation.

    -Excavation on the left was sloped back 3:1.
    -Excavation under 6m (20 feet deep.
    -Uniform Class C soils (gravel) with no slippage planes.
    -Excavations on the right have catch benches.
    -Proper slings for rigging.

    Observations based on the picture only.

City workers were safe working under the bucket. They all had their hard hats on didn’t they?

Are they city workers ? The barricades belong to IDL and possibly the workers as well.

Something is holding that strap and if it isn’t the bucket what is?

    Some buckets have an eye on them for rigging. However the primary purpose for the eye is to lift or the detached bucket. Technically excavator’s aren’t used for lifting and if they are the load cant exceed the rated load capacity for what the boom/bucket was designed for.

      Having a look at the picture you can see the main load was suspended with fibre web slings/clevis (most likely from a crane) and the excavator was being used to guide to support and help make the connection. Not un-common in heavy construction industry.

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