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March 20, 2017

Manitoba Hydro Tower Collapse Leads to Stop Work OrderWorkers assembling a tower related to the Manitoba Hydro Bipole III power line recently escaped injury when the tower collapsed, reports the CBC.

The incident, which took place in the Fox Lake-Gillam area, led Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) to issue a stop work order against Forbes Bros. Ltd., the company doing the work for Manitoba Hydro.

The CBC quotes a WSH spokesperson as saying, “The investigation identified that the structural failure occurred as specific components required in the construction of the tower had not yet been installed.” While no one was injured, a machine called a telehandler, used for lifting, incurred some minor damage.

It was a “frightening” experience for workers, Mike Velie, business manager for local 2034 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union, told the CBC. “The tower collapse is a significant safety-related incident and without doubt has had very real impacts on the employees working in or near the area of the accident.”

According to Manitoba Hydro spokesperson Scott Powell, there were 13 workers on scene when the incident happened, all Forbes employees. “Our review of the whole situation confirmed our initial thoughts, which was that there was an error in the order of assembly of components in this particular tower,” says Powell.

“My understanding is they lowered a piece down but had not yet tied in some diagonal bracing, and that caused it to slowly sink to ground. It damaged a bunch of steel as it bent."

The tower is located on what's known as a collector line. It’s not directly part of the Bipole III transmission line but is connected to it. Bipole III is a 1,341 km multibillion-dollar transmission line being built from northern Manitoba to the south, running down the western side of the province.

Read the full CBC article: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-hydro-tower-collapse-gillam-1.4023216. Photo source: Manitoba Workplace Safety & Health.