Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (July 2016)
A vehicle accident that killed a 33-year-old worker at a Yukon mining operation on June01, 2016, has spurred investigations by OH&S authorities, the RCMP and the Yukon Coroner’s office.
According to information from the Yukon’s Worker’s Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB), two employees were leaving the mining camp at Gladstone Creek in their own vehicles along a mine access road late in the evening when the second vehicle, a blue Ford two-wheel-drive passenger van, became stuck while trying to move up a hill.
“They attached a tow rope between the Toyota four-by-four to the van,” says Kirsten MacDonald, the Yukon chief coroner, referring to the other worker’s vehicle. “Everything seemed to be going fine and then the rope slipped off and the van wasn’t moving.”
The driver of the Toyota SUV asked the worker to get out of the van in case of slippage. After the van driver exited the vehicle, the van slipped back and its open door struck the man. The Toyota suddenly rolled back and collided with the van. The van driver could not get out of the way in time, and he sustained serious blunt-force trauma.
A helicopter transported the victim to a nursing station, where he was pronounced dead on the following morning. Police determined that the incident had not been criminal in nature. The YWCHSB communications officer Andrew Robulack confirms that the Board is helping with the investigation.
If the police had found that the accident WAS criminal, in nature, the Canadian Criminal Code could have been used. Section 217.1 deals with criminal negligence causing death. That concise section has been used a few times in Ontario, Quebec and I believe BC. It creates a no-limit fine and a possibility of 7 years if convicted.
The Ontario Health and Safety Act (OHSA) can give only a maximum jail sentence of up to a year.
Another health and safety fact, at least in Ontario; Only in the ‘Construction’ and ‘Mining’ sectors is a Coroner’s Inquest mandatory.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
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Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.