Compactor veers off road, pins driver against tree
(Canadian OH&S News) — The RCMP and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety are investigating the death of a male construction worker, in an apparent accident that occurred just west of Fort Qu’Appelle late in the afternoon of Oct. 21.
According to a press release from the Fort Qu’Appelle detachment of the RCMP, the 49-year-old worker was operating a compactor at a worksite on Highway 56 shortly before 6 p.m. that day when the incident happened.
“They were repaving a section of the highway,” explained Staff Sergeant Randy Slawson, commander of the RCMP’s Fort Qu’Appelle detachment. “For reasons unknown to us so far, the compactor left the pavement, and it went into the ditch and eventually came to rest against a tree, and the tree pinned the driver of the compactor.”
An emergency call brought representatives of the RCMP, the Ministry, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the local fire department to the scene immediately. EMS personnel pronounced the worker dead at the scene.
Staff Sgt. Slawson confirmed to COHSN that no one else had been injured or killed in the accident. “Just the one deceased.”
A section of Highway 56 was closed for several hours following the accident, as police and occupational health and safety authorities from the Ministry investigated the scene.
Laura McKnight, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, confirmed that the oh&s department was still investigating the incident, but could not provide any further details.
“All we can say is that we are investigating the incident,” said McKnight.
The local RCMP is also continuing an investigation. In addition, the coroner who attended the scene of the accident has ordered an autopsy on the victim.
Highway 56 is a 57-kilometre route that runs from the TransCanada highway to Echo Valley Provincial Park. Fort Qu’Appelle is located about 70 kilometres northeast of Regina.