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CNESST issues report into crash between school bus, bucket truck that killed child

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February 21, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety CNESST fatal accident Quebec

A still from the CNESST animation video showing the school bus striking the bucket truck.

Quebec’s CNESST has issued its report following into an investigation into a fatal crash involving a school bus and a bucket truck that killed a five-year-old child.

On Dec. 14, 2021, two workers for Les enterprises québécoises d’excavation (LEQEL), were installing fibre-optic cable from a bucket truck. The driver of the truck drove at low speeds, making frequent stops, to allow the worker in the bucket access to overhead wires to tie cable.

A school bus struck the stopped bucket truck, and the two vehicles became intertwined and spun towards a ditch. The worker in the bucket jumped to the ground, and the bus driver and two passengers were injured. The five-year-old later passed away in hospital.

Causes of the accident

The CNESST investigation identified two primary causes for the accident.

First, the bucket truck was partially obstructing the westbound lane. Second, there was inadequate signage to alert drivers of the slow-moving and stopping vehicle.


Tips to avoid similar incidents

CNESST said this type of work has to be planned based on risks associated with road traffic and using proper signage that complies with the standard of Volume V – Road signs and signals of the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable.

It also said workers need to be trained on the risks, and safety rules to be followed in these situations — and they need to be supervised, it said.

It noted that, to date, LEQEL had not submitted a safe working method that meets road sign regulations in order for it to resume work.

CNESST is forwarding the conclusion of this investigation to the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable to improve the road sign standard, particularly when it comes to standardizing the signange specific to overhead cable-laying work.

It will also recommend the use of a protective vehicle during mobile work, it said.

Video animation of incident



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