An investigation is currently underway into an incident that allegedly left a Toronto construction worker dangling from a crane 30 storeys in the air on Tuesday.
A video circulating on social media shows a worker hanging dozens of feet in the air, attached to the crane's load only by a rope wrapped around his hand. The worker is seen being lowered down towards the ground amidst screams of "Oh my god," from those watching the incident unfold.
According to the Reddit user who initially posted the video, the worker was on the fifth floor when his hand got caught in the tagline. He was then pulled up to the 30th floor before the crane operator realized what was happening and began lowering him back to the ground.
The incident took place at 160 Front Street West, where Cadillac Fairview is building a 46-storey tower that will become the new home of TD. PCL Construction Canada, who was hired to carry out the build, confirmed that the employee's hand became tangled in the tagline after hooking the load onto the crane.
"We can confirm that an incident took place at our site located at Front and Simcoe yesterday involving a worker who got entangled with a tagline after hooking a load," a spokesperson for PCL Construction told STOREYS. "Fortunately he was safely lowered to the work surface and not seriously injured. The safety of all workers and the community is our top priority. We are working with all appropriate authorities and the incident is currently under investigation."
According to the user who posted the video, the construction worker walked away "with a few bruises on this thumb and a broken wrist."
Another Reddit user, who claimed to be a worker on the Front Street West site, said that the site had not been shut down following the incident. The user went on to say that the man in the video was the site's swamper, which he explained as "the person who communicated with the crane operator on the ground either through hand signals or radio and is usually the most experienced and comfortable with doing lifts." Because of this, the accident was not called in sooner, he says.
This is not the first incident for PCL Construction while working on this site. In July 2020, a crane crashed into a neighbouring building at 145 Wellington Street, leading to the evacuation of both it and 40 University Avenue. The crane operator was reported to have suffered minor injuries. Following the incident, crews worked to dismantle the crane and according to a CP24 report, the Ministry of Labour investigated the incident and "issued one requirement to the company, but did not specify what the requirement was."