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Two Alberta workers fatally injured in separate accidents

ALBERTA (Canadian OH&S News)


ALBERTA (Canadian OH&S News)

Two Alberta workers have suffered fatal injuries in separate workplace accidents three days apart.

The first incident occurred at about 8:15 am on March 6 at MEG Energy’s Christina Lake oil sands project, about 60 kilometres south of Fort McMurray. A worker was in the process of steaming a frozen pipe when a section of the pipe ruptured, striking the worker in the leg, says Barrie Harrison, a spokesman with Alberta Human Services (AHS). The 62-year-old worker was transported to a hospital in nearby Lac La Biche where he passed away.

A stop-work order has been issued for the site and the AHS investigation is continuing.

Brad Bellows, director of external communications for MEG Energy, says that the company’s emergency response staff responded to the report of an injury at a well pad connected to the Christina Lake oil sands project shortly after 8 am on March 6, where the worker received emergency treatment on-site.

The site was secured and activity was suspended at the well pad. Counselling is also being offered to workers and contractors at the project area, Bellows says, adding that next of kin has been notified, but the name of the deceased worker is not being released.

“Our thoughts are with the worker’s family, friends and co-workers at this sad and difficult time,” says Bill McCaffrey, MEG Energy’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The second incident occurred at about 10 pm on March 9 on Highway 41, about 20 kilometres south of Elk Point. An employee of G Mack Oilfield Services of Lloydminster was operating a small loader that had an attached sweeper, Harrison says.

The 33-year-old worker was cleaning mud and gravel from the highway for trucks that were leaving a drilling rig when a vacuum truck collided with the Bobcat. The collision impact pushed the Bobcat about 30 metres and the worker died.

Harrison says that AHS is investigating, as is the local RCMP detachment, which investigates highway-related incidents.

“I can’t imagine the shape of the Bobcat, but we did issue a stop-use order on the Bobcat, but it’s probably almost a moot point,” Harrison says, adding that AHS will also be conducting a mechanical inspection on the vehicle.