Deadly week for industry

Bryan Passifiume
ECA Review Reporter

The deaths of two local workers have Alberta labour groups calling for reform in the wake of two separate industrial accidents.
The first incident happened on Monday, October 15 north of Wainwright, when a worker fell off of scaffolding that rolled into an open pit. He sustained serious head injuries in the fall and was airlifted to Edmonton for treatment. He succumbed to his injuries early Thursday morning.

The second incident saw Coronation RCMP and local EMS units responding to a report of a sudden death at the Battle River power plant, located 20 kilometres north of Halkirk, on Thursday, October 18.  A 23 year old employee of AGAT Labs was performing emissions testing when he fell into one of the station’s smokestacks. The man was pronounced dead on the scene. RCMP and Alberta Occupational Health and Safety continue to investigate both incidents.
Stop-work orders have been issued for both work sites.
The incidents were part of a deadly week for Alberta’s workers, which saw five deadly industrial accidents last week. On Wednesday, October 17. a worker was killed in Lethbridge after being pinned between a forklift and a building. Only a few hours after the deadly fall in Battle River, a 19 year old was killed on an oilfield near Conklin when a piece of equipment fell on him. A 29 year old man was crushed by an excavator on a construction site south of Grande Prairie early Friday morning.
Lisa Glover, spokesperson for Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, said that these incidents were an “unfortunate series of events” and not related.
“It’s definitely a spike,” Glover told The Review. “We don’t typically see these types of numbers all at once.”
As of September, 37 workers have been killed on Alberta job sites in 2012. The number of workers killed in 2011 was 43.  

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