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Alberta worker dies after being pulled into crusher

(Canadian OH&S News) -- For the second time in July, a worker in Alberta has died after he was pulled into a gravel crusher.


(Canadian OH&S News) — For the second time in July, a worker in Alberta has died after he was pulled into a gravel crusher.

On July 28, the 51-year-old worker was performing maintenance on a gravel crusher when he was pulled into a conveyor, said Lauren Welsh, a spokesperson for the occupational health and safety division of Alberta Human Services. The worker was an employee of Contract Crushing Ltd. and the prime contractor was Bilsky Contracting.

The incident occurred about 1.5 kilometres north of Athabasca, Welsh said. The oh&s division continues to investigate, but one order has been issued to date: a stop-use order on the crusher.

The fatality came nine days after a 15-year-old construction worker was fatally injured after becoming entangled in a conveyor at a worksite near Wintering Hills. Christopher Lawrence, an employee of Calgary-based Arjon Construction Ltd., was working at a gravel crushing site between the towns of Drumheller and Bassano.

Because of his age, Lawrence’s death spurred calls for stricter regulations for adolescent workers. In a press release, the Alberta Federation of Labour contended that the province’s labour laws were “among the most lax in Canada,” and called for targeted inspections of workplaces that employ 15- to 17-year-olds, especially in construction and “other comparatively dangerous occupations.”

In Alberta, it is permissible for people as young as 15 to work, unless that employment involves working the graveyard shift, Brookes Merritt, oh&s media representative with Alberta Human Services, told COHSN in late July. “If you’re working after midnight and you’re between 15 and 17, you have to be accompanied by an adult,” he said. “There has to be an adult supervisor.”

Information from the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association said that the following precautions should be taken while working around conveyors:

* Do not wear loose or torn clothing;

* Never jump or climb onto a conveyor for any reason while it is operating;

* Remove materials from underneath and around the conveyor;

* Keep clear of all moving parts during operation. If the belt gets jammed, turn off and lock out the power source; and

* If an emergency situation occurs or there is an equipment malfunction, activate the emergency stop and follow lock-out procedures.