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Investigation ongoing into worker death at Suncor

(Canadian OH&S News) -- Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety division and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are conducting investigations into the death of a Suncor worker. The employee, 27-year-old Shane Daye from Fort...


(Canadian OH&S News) — Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety division and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are conducting investigations into the death of a Suncor worker. The employee, 27-year-old Shane Daye from Fort McMurray, died following a workplace injury at its tar-sands site on Easter Sunday, April 20.

Suncor emergency-service personnel responded at approximately 11:30 a.m., after the employee had been severely injured while working near Fort McMurray. The employee was immediately transported to the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre in Fort McMurray, where he was pronounced dead.

“An electrician was performing voltage testing in an area containing electric panels when he collapsed,” said Lisa Glover, public-affairs officer with the Government of Alberta’s occupational health and safety division. Daye, an instrumentation tech, had been working for Suncor for seven years, according to his sister, Christie Daye.

Sneh Seetal, media-relations manager with Suncor, said the company would cooperate with the oh&s and RCMP investigations, which are ongoing. She added that Suncor had started its own investigation to determine the root cause of the incident.

“We have mobilized our critical-incident stress debriefing to other employees, and we are encouraging our employees to access that service if they feel they need it,” said Seetal.

On April 23, the Daye family released a statement to the press. “We are devastated by the loss of Shane,” said Christie Daye in the statement. “We will miss his smile and his energy. We will miss him bounding up the stairs and lighting up a room.”

She described her brother as a talented athlete who had played hockey, baseball and golf, loved spending time with friends and had a great sense of humour.

“An instrumentation tech, Shane had just earned his journey electrician ticket and was excited about his new skills,” she said. “He was an incredibly positive young man, and he will be missed deeply by all who knew him.”

Mark Little, Suncor’s executive vice president for upstream operations, responded to the incident in a public statement on April 20. “This is devastating news and a tragic loss for family, friends and co-workers. Our thoughts and prayers go out to loved ones during this extremely difficult time,” said Little.

This is the second worker death at Suncor in 2014. On Jan. 19, employee Jerry Cooper, 40, was found lifeless in a pool of sand and water after he had gone to check on a leak on a pipeline at the tar-sands site north of Fort McMurray.