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News archive for November 7, 2012

Fatal work place mishap results in many charges

Yukon officials have laid more than a dozen charges in connection with a fatal accident last year where a local tire shop employee was crushed by a truck he was working on.

By Ashley Joannou on November 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Yukon officials have laid more than a dozen charges in connection with a fatal accident last year where a local tire shop employee was crushed by a truck he was working on.

On the afternoon of Nov. 15, 2011, Denis Chabot, an employee at Integra Tire off Industrial Road, was servicing a North 60 Petro truck.

The 34-year-old had been putting slits in the tri-axle vehicle’s tires to give it better traction on ice and snow.

After having completed the work, he went and told his supervisor that the vehicle was ready for pick-up.

He said he would go out and do a final check on the vehicle before the owner came to pick it up.

When a worker from North 60 arrived, he found the vehicle idling, climbed into it and drove it away.

Chabot was partially under the vehicle and suffered fatal crush injuries when the vehicle moved.

A total of 14 charges have been laid and were first read into territorial court Tuesday.

Both companies involved, North 60 and Integra Tire — listed in the documents as Yukon Tire Centre Inc. — have been charged.

Two supervisors, Frank Taylor with North 60 and Paul Bubiak with Integra Tire, are facing charges of their own.

Integra Tire is facing five charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The company is charged with failing to effectively control the truck when a worker could be injured by an unexpected start-up, failing to effectively control the truck when it was shut down, and failing to stop and immobilize a machine or equipment which may endanger a worker.

The final two charges are related to the company’s safety procedures.

Integra Tire is charged with failing to develop safe, effective lockout procedures and failing to explain those procedures verbally and in writing.

North 60 is facing three charges.

Officials claim the company failed to adequately train a worker in the safe operation of the truck, failed to ensure a worker had demonstrated competency to a supervisor, and failed to ensure the operator did not move the truck until precautions were taken to protect the operator and any other worker from injury.

As for the supervisors, Taylor is facing two charges: that, as a supervisor, he failed to adequately train a worker in the safe operation of the truck and that he failed to ensure that when an equipment operator’s view of the work place is obstructed, that the operator not move the equipment.

Bubiak is charged with the same offence related to training.

He is also facing similar charges to his employer for failing to immobilize the truck and control it when it was shut down for maintenance work.

A man who loved the outdoors, Chabot had come to the Yukon about 10 years earlier from his home in Sherbrooke, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

CommentsAdd a comment

bobby bitman

Nov 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Too sad.  I know that all the infractions are legitimate, but, without forgetting about Denis and his family and friends, I feel badly for the co-workers and supervisors who are living this nightmare.  No doubt these charges have a pale impact in comparison to how they feel about the horrible loss of Denis Chabot.

MOT

Nov 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I really think that accidents like this that had no apparent willful negligence should not result in charges.  They should be analyzed and recommendations made so that they never occur again.  Simple things like taking the key out of ignition before any maintenance on vehicle. I fail to see how charges benefit society at all. Aviation accident investigations are structured mainly to prevent future mishaps for the same reason and end up being very informative.

One is to many

Nov 11, 2012 at 11:32 am

MOT. While I understand your reasoning I believe the exact opposite. Sometimes charges are the only thing that will make people in the wider community wake up to the importance of proper lockout or safety procedures in general. None of the procedures that would have prevented this particular incident are new and are in place at many companies, particularly those that are COR certified for example.
As someone who has lived through the death of my friend and coworker who was killed on the job here in the Yukon years back I know how devastating it is to everyone around, and have only sympathy for all involved in this case.
Unfortunately for my company it took the death of a worker as well as the accompanying investigation, charges, and resulting fines and OH&S orders before we took safety seriously. That shouldn’t have to happen so if the charges in this case make other employers realize the seriousness of maintaining a safe workplace and result in saving even one more life in the future they will be worth it.

Bill Campbell

Nov 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm

It is a sad fact that many Yukon companies give only the slightest regard for safety.  This will not change until someone has to pay the price for failing to comply with safety regulations.  It is so unfortunate that most companies require a terrible accident before they take safety seriously.  Companies that fail to properly train their workers or that fail at enforcing even the most basic safety rules should be punished to the utmost letter of the law, especially when lives are lost.

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