Friday, June 14, 2013

Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Nova Scotia, Canada: Man dies after becoming trapped by baggage loader

Labor Department investigators interview workers next to a Cargojet plane at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Friday morning.

A 58-year-old man died this morning as a Cargojet was being loaded near the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

“Our early investigation revealed he died after being trapped by a hydraulic baggage loader,” RCMP Cpl. Scott MacRae said.

The man died at the scene.

His death is the 15th workplace fatality in Nova Scotia so far this year.

MacRae said officers were called to Gateway Facilities ULC on Pratt and Whitney Drive in Goffs at 4:43 a.m.

The case has been turned over to Department of Labour investigators and the medical examiner’s office, MacRae said.

Pauline Dhillon, spokeswoman for Cargojet, said the victim was not a Cargojet employee.

“It was our aircraft that was being loaded but it was a Servisair employee,” Dhillon said. “We contract with (a) third party.”

In another incident on Thursday afternoon, a 46-year-old man working at a construction site on Peggys Cove Road was taken to hospital after he fell off a concrete wall.

Few details of that accident were available from the RCMP, but MacRae said the man’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

That investigation was turned over to the Department of Labour, he said.

Just this week, the Dexter government said it is taking steps to protect Nova Scotians at their job sites.

One new measure is increasing workplace inspections by provincial safety officers including more surprise visits to employers who have been repeat violators.

Another is hooked to fall protection and prevention. Companies with a work site where there’s a risk of an employee toppling from a height of more than three metres need to provide proof of proper fall-prevention training.

And employers with personnel working on the province’s roads, highways or public parking lots must have a hazard assessment done and show written safe-work procedures.

Also, Nova Scotia’s Public Prosecution Service has been advised to “pursue harsher penalties for employers with serious and repeat offences,” a news release Tuesday said. This course of action follows Labour Minister Frank Corbett’s recent pledge to have a Crown attorney in place who is responsible solely for occupational health and safety.

The province has about 34 worksite safety inspectors covering thousands of permanent and seasonal businesses.

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