Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A vehicle operator working at a bitumen operation in northern Alberta suffered fatal injuries when his pick-up was run over by a heavy hauler dump truck that weighed 350-tonnes.

The accident occurred at 8 pm on April 26, 2008 at the Muskeg River Mine, operated by prime contractor Albian Sands Energy Inc., and about located 75 kilo-metres north of Fort McMurray. The contract employee of Bucyrus Canada Ltd. was driving the pick-up truck from the mine to an administration building at the end of his shift when the deadly incident occurred. The 26-year-old driver was taken to a Fort McMurray hospital, but later passed away.

A stop-work order was issued against Albian Sands Energy following the accident, he says, but lifted the next day. The company has also been ordered to develop temporary arrangements to improve traffic movement, pending a full investigation.

Oil Sands projects typically have two sets of roads: one for heavy haulers and one for other vehicles, Harrison says. Because of their size, haulers usually have right-of-way, he reports. The hauler involved in the accident — a Caterpillar 797B — can stand at about 50 feet high when fully loaded.

The project is a joint venture among Shell Canada, Chevron Canada and Marathon Oil Canada Corporation. Grief counselors were made available to employees following the incident, says Simone Marler, a spokesperson for Shell Canada.

My opinion

Complacency, a word used all too often when accidents such as this one occurs. People continue to bypass protocols regularly because of complacency. They tell themselves nothing has happened or will never happen.

Little comfort to the family of the deceased!

I also believe that the H&S Coordinator needs to carry more clout and demand policy as well as procedural changes to permanently change the attitude on the jobsite.

If you are wondering, I am not bashing the province of Alberta this time as the accident could have happened anywhere. I do, however, note that a stop work order was issued BUT was lifted the next day. But we must keep up appearances, mustn’t we and make it look like we really care about the welfare of the worker.

I think they got off lucky once again. What do you think?

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

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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