Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (November 2015)
The RCMP and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety are investigating the death of a male construction worker just west of Fort Qu’Appelle on October 21, 2015.
According to a statement from the Fort Qu’Appelle detachment of the RCMP, the 49-year-old worker was operating a compactor at a work site on Highway 56 shortly before 6 PM that day when the incident happened.
“They were repaving a section of the highway,” report staff Sgt. Randy Slawson, commander of the RCMP’s Fort Qu’Appelle detachment. “For reasons unknown to us so far, the compactor left the payment, and it went into the ditch and eventually came to rest against a tree, and the tree pinned the driver of the compactor.”
An emergency call brought representatives of the RCMP, the Ministry, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the local fire department to the scene. The worker was pronounced dead by EMS personnel at the scene. Staff Sgt. Slawson confirms that no one else was injured or killed in the accident. A section of Highway 56 was closed for several hours for investigation.
There are many questions that need to be answered:
- What was the actual hazard that caused the accident?
- Were there written instructions on how to run the equipment?
- What was the training for this operator?
- Did someone complete a hazard assessment prior to the work being done? and
- Was the operation properly supervised?
It would certainly be interesting to see the final outcome and the actual cause of the accident. There may be underlying causes fatigue, stress or other physical concerns.
Accidents like this can be avoided if competent hazard assessments are completed and the worker receives competent supervision.
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‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.