Truck hit steel girder, which struck victim
(Canadian OH&S News) — A highway accident claimed the life of a construction worker while he was on the job near Airdrie, Alta., on the evening of Sept. 12.
According to a news release from the Alberta RCMP, construction crews were working on Highway 2, about ten kilometres north of Airdrie, using an excavator to load steel girders onto a flat deck trailer. Northbound traffic on the highway was reduced to one lane during this work.
Early investigation of the incident suggested that a northbound semi tractor-trailer unit hit one of the girders, police said.
“The resulting impact struck a construction worker, and he was pronounced dead on scene,” the release stated. “No other injuries were reported.”
Alberta Labour spokesperson Trent Bancarz said that the construction crew had been using a small crane attached to the excavator to lift the steel girders from a truck and load them onto the trailer.
“Somehow, the barrier swung into the highway side accidentally, and it was struck by an oncoming tractor-trailer unit, which then put the barrier back towards the workers,” said Bancarz. “It struck one of them, and he died as a result of the injuries.”
He added that he had never heard of a similar accident with girders in a road work zone. “So it certainly isn’t common.”
The driver of the semi truck remained at the scene of the accident, police said.
Occupational health and safety officers from Alberta Labour attended the scene, and northbound traffic was shut down on the highway for about three hours as they investigated. By 10 a.m. the following day, one northbound lane had reopened.
Bancarz confirmed that Alberta Labour’s oh&s division would continue to investigate the fatality.
The RCMP does not plan to release the name of the victim publicly, but it confirmed that he had been 37 years old and had hailed from Red Deer.
Airdrie is located about 28 kilometres north of Calgary, in Rocky View County.