Dodgy scaffold design led to two deaths at paper mill

Domtar paper mill in Windsor, Que, Canada. Credit: The Canadian

An investigation by Canada’s workplace health and safety board has found that scaffold design failures led to a major scaffold collapse which killed two workers and injured several others at a western Quebec paper mill in October 2021.

A report released on Wednesday by Canada’s workplace health and safety board says that an engineer working for Boileau & Associés which produced the design for the 16-storey scaffold ‘improperly calculated’ how much weight the platform could hold.

According to the report, the engineer underestimated the load capacity of the scaffold by more than 25 per cent, a difference of more than 4,000 kilograms.

It says the seventh floor on which the collapse occurred was not properly braced and unable in certain places to support the weight of the workers.

The two workers who died were Yan Baillargeon, 39, and Hugo Pare, 22.

worked for contracting firms that were doing maintenance on the plant in Windsor, Que.