Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine – (Oct. 2014)
Less than a month after two workers were fatally injured in separate gravel-crushing sites in Alberta, the Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour conducted focused inspections of these worksites.
Brookes Merritt, spokesperson for the provincial labour ministry, says inspections started in early August and were expected to wrap up in late September.
The inspections built on last year’s campaign, in which OH&S officers visited 64 sand and gravel-crushing worksites in eight weeks. The Ministry issued a total of 240 orders to employers during that blitz, including 37 related to inadequate equipment guarding and 23 stop-work/stop-use orders. Of the 64 sites inspected, only seven did not receive any orders, the inspection report notes.
Merritt says the 2014 inspections were a mix of both previously inspected and newly inspected worksites. “It could involve visits to employers who were subject to the inspection campaign last year, and it will also involve new operations – not new per se, but operations that were not inspected in the previous year.” There are about 250 employers working in the industry in Alberta.
Merritt adds that the second series of inspections had been planned in advance, but inspection dates were moved up a couple of weeks in recognition of the two fatalities in July.
On July 19, 2014 15-year-old construction worker Christopher Lawrence, employed by Arjon Construction Ltd., was killed after he became entangled in a conveyor at a gravel-crushing site near Wintering Heights, between the towns of Drumheller and Bassano. Nine days later, just north of Athabasca, a 51-year-old worker of Contract Crushing Ltd., was fatally injured when he was pulled into a conveyor while performing maintenance on a gravel crusher.
This is just another, mind you, older report of people being injured or killed on the job in Alberta. There are a few questions I have on the first accident:
- What was a 15-year-old doing on a jobsite in the first place?
- Where was the supervisor?
- Was he given enough safety information to do the job?
All great questions but can the reader see the pattern? Blitzes were planned and initiated only after the second accident.
Safety should ALWAYS be the employer’s top priority.
Another in a long line of bad decisions by the Alberta government.
I attempted to research further to see if there was any outcome to this. If anyone can find the details on the tragic accident please feel free to comment.
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VP & Senior Trainer
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