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Worker succumbs to injuries after accident with mobile home

Resort employee pinned by trailer after jack slips


(Canadian OH&S News) — A resort employee near London, Ont. was seriously injured while trying to raise a mobile home with a jack on Sept. 19, dying in a hospital three days later.

The victim, an employee of Golden Pond RV Resort in Mossley, was lifting the trailer that morning when the load shifted and fell, pinning the worker underneath it, according to Janet Deline, a communications representative with the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL).

“The worker was transported to hospital on that day,” said Deline, adding that the employee had passed away on Sept. 22.

The MOL was notified of the accident on the day of its occurrence. “We had an inspector and an engineer attend the scene. They issued three orders,” explained Deline.

The first order to the employer required that mobile homes would be lifted in a way that did not endanger any workers; the second required that the employer would maintain equipment in good condition; and the third was a stop-work order on the equipment that had been used during the incident.

“Our inspectors returned to the scene on September 21st,” said Deline. “They issued one requirement not to disturb the scene. So that is still in place and where we are at the moment.”

Golden Pond RV Resort declined to comment to COHSN about the tragedy.

The MOL is investigating the incident, and there are no charges against the employer as of yet.

Deline said that she had not heard of such a workplace accident with a mobile home happening before. “That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t in the past, but I wouldn’t know unless they did a complete search,” she said, referring to the MOL’s past records.

Mossley is a rural community located about 26 kilometres east of London, in Middlesex County.

While the full details of the incident are yet to be determined, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) in Hamilton, Ont. offers tips for using vehicle jacks safely on its website:

— Keep jacks in good condition before using them;
— Make sure the surface on which a jack is placed is dry, clean and even;
— Position the jack at a right angle to the vehicle, at the point that the vehicle manufacturer recommends;
— Keep the vehicle shift in park, or in low if it is a standard vehicle, with the parking brake applied;
— Never overload a jack beyond its capacity;
— Use jacks only for vertical lifts;
— Beware of the vehicle or jack slipping by accident and never be in a position in which a worker could be pinned between the operating handle and the wall;
— If working underneath the vehicle is necessary, use safety stands for additional support of the load. Keep safety stands in good condition and position them properly; and
— If working alone, have a colleague check on the work area frequently to ensure safety.