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Safety in the news: October brings the scares

By Lauren Smith


October has not been a good month for workplace accidents in Alberta. In the past 21 days there has been a cluster of casualties and catastrophes. That’s much scarier than any monster or ghoul.


At the start of the month, a 30-year-old man was removing casting pipe from the ground at a hydrocarbon storage rig near Fort Saskatchewan when a joint fell, striking him. Suffering from head injuries, he was taken by STARS to the hospital, where he later died.

About a week later, a 25-year-old St. Albert man, in his first year on the job, was working as part of a road resurfacing crew when he was struck by a co-worker driving a truck. He was also taken to the hospital with injuries, but sadly passed away shortly after arrival.

Just last week a 44-year-old man was hit by a pipe while working at an energy pipe production facility in Sherwood Park. He too was only one year on the job and died in the hospital. 


A rather serious accident occurred in the middle of the month that thankfully left workers unscathed: a train derailed in the Town of Sexsmith. The train was carrying anhydrous ammonia, an agricultural fertilizer, when three cars derailed. Fortunately there were no leaks and no injuries. The town’s residents had to evacuate for the evening as a precautionary measure, but they were all able to return the following day.

This past Saturday, there was another train derailment. This time it was in Gainford, Alberta. The train was carrying propane and crude oil, which spilled, causing explosions and fires on either side of the four-lane Yellowhead highway. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Gainford train derailment. Photo courtesy of The Globe and Mail.

Gainford train derailment. Photo courtesy of The Globe and Mail.

Do you have a safety story you’d like to share? Leave a comment or tweet us @HeadsUpAb

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