Six workers sent to hospital after roof collapsed during construction

The Ministry of Labour is investigating a roof collapse here that injured six men last week.

Shortly after 10am on June 7 emergency services personnel – including Wellington County OPP officers, Mapleton firefighters and paramedics from Guelph-Wellington EMS – responded to an accident at 37 Drayton Industrial Drive.

A preliminary investigation revealed workers were installing roof trusses on the new Norwell Dairy building in the Drayton industrial park at the time of the accident.

“All of them came down,” Fire Chief Rick Richardson said of the “30 to 40” trusses that collapsed, injuring six of the approximately nine workers on the scene.

Richardson noted a couple of workers below the trusses got out with minor injuries, which he considered lucky because they likely would not have survived had the massive trusses fallen directly on them.

About 14 firefighters were on the scene, helping to triage patients, alongside paramedics, and stabilizing the injured  men before they were sent to hospital by ambulance.

The initial police report indicated all six injured workers went to Palmerston and District Hospital, but Richardson said he thinks two may have been taken to Hamilton with back and leg injuries.

“None of them were life threatening,” he said of the injuries.

OPP Constable Mark Cloes said police responded to ensure no one was trapped underneath the structure and to confirm the trusses were not deliberately felled. Cloes said the OPP did not find any evidence of either, and referred to the incident as “an unfortunate accident.”

Two of the victims were still in hospital several days after the incident, added OPP  Constable Keith Robb – one with a broken back and one with a broken pelvis.

The Ministry of Labour also responded to the scene and is continuing its investigation.