OHS Canada Magazine

Quarry operator fined $200k for workplace fatality, injury


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May 16, 2024
By OHS Canada

Compliance & Enforcement

Buckhorn Sand & Gravel Inc. has been fined $200,000 after one worker was fatally injured and another was critically injured while trying to free a truck lodged on a rock.

The company pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by section 105(1)(i) of Regulation 845 (Mining Regulation) were carried out, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

What happened?

On May 10, 2022, two workers were attempting to start a fuel truck used in quarry operations. Once started, the truck’s rear access platform became lodged on flat rock in the refueling area and the vehicle was unable to drive off.

Another service truck was going to be used to pull the fuel truck off the rock by means of a chain. One worker crawled under the front driver’s side axle of the fuel truck to attach the chain while the other worker assisted in attaching the chain to the service truck.

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The fuel truck then moved forward, fatally injuring one worker, and critically injuring the other.

A Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development investigation determined that after the fuel truck’s engine was started, the fuel truck’s air system inflated the rear suspension airbags. This caused the rear of the fuel truck to rise sufficiently so the rear platform was no longer lodged on the rock. This enabled the truck to move forward.

The investigation also concluded that, at the time of the incident, no one was in the cab of the fuel truck, it was in forward gear and the brakes were not engaged.

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