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Oil worker, 47, dies after workplace accident at Shell site

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November 1, 2016
By Jeff Cottrill

Health & Safety alberta Edmonton energy ministry of labour occupational health and safety Oil and gas workplace fatality

Contractor employee struck by water hose

(Canadian OH&S News) — A worker at a Shell Canada drilling site near Fox Creek, Alta. succumbed to his injuries after an accident late in the afternoon of Oct. 23.

The incident occurred while employees of Secure Energy Services, which Shell had contracted for the site, were pumping water from a river to another worksite for well activities, according to Lauren Welsh, a spokesperson for the Alberta Ministry of Labour (MOL).

“At approximately 5:45 p.m.,” said Welsh, “the pump started revving, and when workers went to investigate, a hose let go and hit one of the workers. He was treated at the scene and transferred to hospital in Fox Creek, where he passed away.”

An Oct. 27 press release from Secure Energy identified the victim as Abdelghani Hemad, who was 47 years old, and confirmed that he had died on the evening following the incident. Hemad hailed from Calgary.

The MOL issued a stop-work order, and the worksite was shut down immediately after the accident. Welsh confirmed that the Ministry was investigating the incident, and Secure Energy stated that it and Shell were cooperating with the MOL and the RCMP in their respective investigations.


“Our thoughts are with the Hemad family, friends and co-workers as we work through this difficult time,” Secure Energy president and CEO Rene Amirault said in a media statement. “This is the first fatal worksite accident involving a Secure Energy Services employee.”

Since the tragedy, employees at the worksite have been offered counselling through Shell’s Employee Assistance Programs as well as Secure Energy.

Shell did not respond to COHSN’s request for comment, but Murray Elliott, the corporation’s general manager for the Greater Deep Basin, issued a general press statement expressing condolences for Hemad and his family.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of an industry colleague,” said Elliott. “The safety of our staff, contractors and neighbours is our top priority in everything we do.

“We are working closely with the parties involved to gather more information and learn from this incident.”

Fox Creek is located approximately 260 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Founded in 2007, Secure Energy Services provides drilling, processing, recovery and disposal services for the oil and gas industry throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, according to information from its website.


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