Blog Post #218 – Worker Suffers Fatal Crushing Injuries in Alberta – Lakota Drilling Partnership

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

An oil worker died December 28, 2009 after being struck in the head by a large container lid at a drilling site about 35 kilometres southwest of Cardston, Alberta.

The floor hand for Lakota Drilling Partnership was inspecting a hydraulically operated clam-shell-lid container when it’s jammed lid suddenly released, says AEII spokesperson Barrie Harrison. A Lakota Drilling crew was in the process of relocating its drilling rig when the deadly incident occurred, Harrison says.

The company was ordered to implement a safety training program for all employees who may need to use the container in the future. As well, Lakota Drilling has been directed to carry out a hazard assessment on the container and provide provincial occupational health and safety officials with a copy of the unit’s engineering specifications.

Should the container be returned to service or modified, Harrison points out, “it must be re-certified by a professional engineer.”

In 2005, officers investigated four fatalities in the mining and petroleum development industry, which includes drilling rig services.

My opinion

I spend much of my spare time researching and find numerous issues. The readership needs to see the different sectors, the different provinces, and the different issues they encounter. It is not a fluke that many of the issues I have found come from Alberta.

Paragraph three talks about the penalties issues by the government including a safety training program. WOW! Do you mean to say that one was not implemented already? In Ontario, the company would have been charged with section 25 of the OHSA, subsection 2(a) which states,

“The employer shall provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker.”

It sounds reasonable doesn’t it! Oh yes, in Ontario we have another rule we have to live by and it states, (Section 25, subsection 2(h))

“The employer shall do everything reasonable in the circumstance for the protection of the worker.”

Another part of paragraph three, suggests that a hazard assessment of the container must be carried out. WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Is the Alberta government suggesting that an assessment was not completed on the container before any work was done?

Finally, the government of Alberta requires the engineering specifications on the container. The container also has to be re-certified by a professional engineer.

Section 31 of the OHSA, subsection 2 states,

“A professional engineer as defined by the ‘Professional Engineers Act’ contravenes this ACT if, as a result of his or her advice that is given or his or her certification required under this ACT that is made negligently or incompetently, a worker is endangered.”

My guess is that the Alberta occupational laws do not include a section resembling something like this one or, if it is there, is hardly ever enforced.

Let us not upset business in Alberta. The workers can be replaced!

Remember — In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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