Excerpt from the OH&S Canada Magazine
A worker in Newfoundland and Labrador was fatally injured August 24 after the road construction machine he was operating tipped over and trapped him.
The accident occurred on the Trans- Canada Highway, 12 kilometres east of Lewisporte, says Corporal Pamela Blackwood, a spokesperson for the Newfoundland and Labrador RCMP.
Two employees of Farrell’s Excavating were setting a milling machine to gauge the depth of the pavement before stripping it, Blackwood reports. One of the workers was standing on top of the machine, with the other on the ground, “a hand’s reach away.”
Following the setting process — but before the workers began the task of re- moving the asphalt — the two men needed to reverse the machine and turn it to the left to travel onto the highway, says Blackwood. “Unfortunately, the way the tractor tires were turned on it, instead of going backwards, when it went forward, it was angled enough that it caused it to tip over,” she notes.
As the machine moved forward, it rolled into a ditch, trapping the operator and submerging him under water. He had died by the time that ambulance attendants and RCMP members arrived on scene, Blackwood says. The second worker was not injured.
Officials with the government services department are investigating.
Those that follow my web blog know my feelings about health and safety in Alberta but I have been in correspondence with people on professional websites that believe that Alberta AND Newfoundland have two of the least safe workplaces in Canada.
There is not enough evidence for me to have an opinion one way or the other but the more we hear from our friends in Newfoundland the more we can develop a sense of direction in regards to health and safety in the workplace.
I truly believe that proper adherence to the ‘health and safety’ laws is the best way to improve the safety in the workplace. The government must do its part by taking a stand and enforcing the law. The direction MUST come from the provincial government.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer