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Sand and gravel company fined $200,000 following workplace injury and death

Sand and gravel company fined $200,000 following workplace injury and death

TORONTO — Buckhorn Sand & Gravel Inc., an operator of a limestone quarry, has been fined $200,000 after one worker suffered fatal injuries and another was critically injured while attempting to free a truck lodged on a rock.

The incident occurred May 10, 2022 at 400 Bass Line Rd. in Bobcaygeon, Ont.

The conviction was handed down April 15. Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Peterborough, the company was fined by Justice of the Peace Mark Donahue.

Buckhorn Sand & Gravel Inc. of Trent Lakes Ont. failed 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 the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

On the day of the incident, two company workers were attempting to start a fuel truck used in quarry operations and the truck’s rear access platform became lodged on flat rock in the refuelling 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, indicates a court bulletin. 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 which caused the rear of the fuel truck to rise sufficiently so that the rear platform was no longer lodged on the rock which enabled the truck to move forward, adds the bulletin.

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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