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Safety in the news: fines, death and improvements

By Theresa Trant

While I’m pretty safe working in my office, not everyone is in my position. Recently I toured a machine shop and was struck by the complexity of the business as well as the large equipment and materials being used. As I scanned the shop I was reminded yet again of how important safety is. One slip up with a machine or in handling the huge pipes could result in a devastating injury.

Safety is key to decreased workplace injuries, death and employer fines. Here are your April safety-in-the-news stories:

OHS fines for preventable injuries

British Columbia’s workers compensation board has imposed more than $1 million in fines and fees against the owners of the Burns Lake sawmill that exploded, killing two workers and injuring 19 others.

The investigation concluded that the mill explosion could have been prevented. According to investigators the company was aware it had an inadequate dust collection system and experienced a similar explosion and fire a year earlier.

Burns lake saw mill

A Manitoba construction company was also fined after a 26-year-old worker was severely hurt after being crushed by a falling railing while on a job site in Saskatoon. The company failed to clearly mark the area with barriers or warning devices.

Tragedy in the workplace

A 23-year-old man died in Ontario as a result of a workplace accident on Feb. 7, 2014 when he became trapped after a flatbed of a truck became loose. This young man was married with a three-year-old daughter and two step-children.

Closer to home, a 21-year-old man who “lived and breathed racing” was recently killed at a work site north of Ft. McMurray. He was operating a tractor hoe in a borrow pit when it broke through ice. Occupational Health and Safety is currently investigating the accident.

21 yr old

Improvement leads to better safety

And now for some good news.

Working at Alberta ski hills appears to be getting safer. A recent inspection showed a 59 per cent drop in safety infractions compared to a previous season inspection.

Marmot chairlift

While accidents can happen, a keen awareness of safety is the best preventative action you can take to ensure you and your co-workers stay safe.


Heads Up: work smart, work safe.

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

2 Responses to “Safety in the news: fines, death and improvements”

  1. I think that accidents happen at the workplace because the other employer, in fact, the company itself, fails to pay the necessary attention to all details. For them, safety at the work place may not seem important, but they are very mistaken. If something goes wrong for an employee, the brand will be affected as well. Not to mention the importance of the loss of a human life!

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