OHS Canada Magazine

Edmonton inquiry looks into death of 18 year old railway yard worker

November 7, 2017
By The Canadian Press
Compliance & Enforcement Health & Safety Young Workers Health & Safety inquiry Workplace accident -- fatality

EDMONTON – A fatality inquiry into the death of an 18-year-old worker has been told there was a discrepancy between what investigators heard from other workers and what a manager said.

Cody Demary was run over by a tractor-trailer in 2011 while he was working in a supply yard on property owned by the Canadian National Railway.

Casey Leahy, an investigator with Occupational Health and Safety, testified workers onsite told him the truck was backing up to a trailer when Demary was struck, and the truck’s backup alarm did not work.

A manager later said that it did, and that the alarm had been tested and worked onsite.

An independent test found corrosion on wires to the speakers that would cause intermittent operation.


Leahy told the inquiry that there was significant interference from CN at the time of the investigation and it was the first time in his career that he had run into that kind of opposition.

A CN assistant regional manner later told the inquiry that such drivers must now have a class one driver’s licence. Also, when they’re alone and ready to back up, they must first exit the vehicle and circle it, or if they’re in a crowd, a spotter must be used.

Brett Demary, Cody’s father, said he’s hoping for a couple of things from the inquiry: “That another death like this never happens again, and CN pulls up their socks.”

Copyright (c) 2017 The Canadian Press


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