Category Archives: Transportation

Icing conditions caused fatal plane crash in northern Ontario

PICKLE LAKE, Ont. – A new investigation report from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has concluded that ice accumulation led to a plane crash that killed a pilot near Pickle Lake on Dec. 11, 2015. At about 9 a.m. that day, a Cessna 208B Caravan left Pickle Lake Airport with a load of cargo destined for Wapekeka Airport, but the aircraft struck trees and terrain and was destroyed ten minutes later, stated the report, which was published on Sept. 28 of this year. The TSB investigation revealed that ice accumulation on the plane had seriously degraded the vehicle’s performance with aerodynamic stall. In addition, Wasaya Airways Limited conducted the flight according to the company’s typical practice of operating in icing conditions without assessing the safety risks appropriately. “Without effective risk-management processes, aircraft may continue to be dispatched into forecast or known icing conditions that exceed the operating capabilities of the aircraft, increasing the risk of degraded aircraft performance or loss of control,” the TSB wrote in the report.

RCMP officer injured by man ramming her car before fleeing

KELOWNA, B.C. – The Kelowna detachment of the RCMP has arrested a 66-year-old man who is accused of injuring a female Mountie by ramming his vehicle into hers before fleeing police on Sept. 24. According to a news release from the detachment, officers from both the Kelowna and Lake Country RCMP responded to a call about a man yelling erratically outside of his residence at 12:50 p.m. that day. “Officers… immediately began efforts to de-escalate the situation,” Corporal Jesse O’Donaghey, an RCMP media-relations officer, said in a press statement. “The male retreated to his personal vehicle, [with] which… he proceeded to ram one of the police vehicles twice prior to fleeing the scene.” One of the Lake Country officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries from the incident and was still recovering as of Sept. 25, the release noted. Cpl. O’Donaghey added that police had monitored the suspect’s vehicle with the help of unmarked police vehicles and the Southeast District RCMP Air Services. Officers soon apprehended the suspect under the Mental Health Act at his home and transported him to a hospital for medical assessment. He is now facing unspecified charges.

Teen arrested for threatening pair of transit workers

WINNIPEG, Man. – The Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) has charged an 18-year-old man for uttering threats to two Winnipeg Transit employees early in the morning on Sept. 20. According to a WPS news release, the young man was sleeping on a bus, and the bus driver and a transit supervisor were trying to wake him up. The teen awoke and caused a disturbance, becoming aggressive and threatening both workers, police said. General patrol officers with the WPS responded to a call about the incident at about 12:15 a.m. and noted that the man was bound by a recognizance requiring him to leave a bus if ordered. Tyrell Marquel Cornish was arrested and charged with uttering threats and failing to comply with recognizance, police said.

Vehicle collision, worker injury lead to $75,000 fine for logistics firm

WHITBY, Ont. – Aspect Retail Logistics Inc., an employer based in Pickering, Ont., has been convicted for a permanent injury that an employee suffered in a reach-truck accident last year. According to a court bulletin from the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL), the worker was driving the reach truck and lost control of the vehicle while trying to make a left turn at the end of an aisle on May 10, 2016. The reach truck collided with a wall, injuring the employee. Evidence suggested that the truck had slipped on water that had remained behind after the floor had been cleaned. In the Ontario Court of Justice in Whitby, Aspect Retail later pleaded guilty to failing to keep a floor clear of obstructions or hazards, a violation of the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. Justice of the Peace Ronald Prestage sentenced the company to pay a $75,000 fine, plus a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge, on Sept. 21 of this year.

Husky Oil convicted, fined for 2015 truck accident in Saskatchewan

LLOYDMINSTER, Sask. – Husky Oil Operations Limited has been fined $100,000, including a $28,571 surcharge, for its role in an incident in which an employee was seriously injured by a truck on Aug. 24, 2015. A news release from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety stated that the accident had occurred at the Calgary-headquartered corporation’s sand-disposal facility in Lloydminster, Sask., where the worker was hit by a truck that day. In Lloydminster Provincial Court, Husky Oil later pleaded guilty to failing to develop and implement a traffic-control plan to protect workers where there was a traffic hazard other than a public highway, resulting in injury. An additional charge was dropped, and the employer was fined on Sept. 18 of this year. “All workplaces must identify and address potential risks and hazards,” the Ministry stated in the release. “Safety plans must be developed, and all employees must be provided with information and training to work safely.”

WorkSafeBC publishes new safety guide for pipeline construction

RICHMOND, B.C. – A new resource from the occupational health and safety authority for British Columbia aims to teach employers, employees and business owners the basic safety requirements in pipeline construction. Available both as a PDF document and as a pamphlet, the Pipeline Construction Inspection Guide details the obligations of owners, employers, contractors, suppliers and workers under the province’s regulatory jurisdiction over pipelines, according to a press release that WorkSafeBC sent out on Sept. 18. The guide also includes a glossary of terms and outlines relevant sections of B.C. workplace safety legislation, as well as the required personal protective equipment for pipeline construction. It deals with the safety requirements of the pre-construction, construction and post-construction phases of a project, from removal of timber and drilling to cleanup. The Pipeline Construction Inspection Guide is available as an info-flip hard copy for $12 from the WorkSafeBC online store, and the PDF version is available for free at

Construction worker, 37, dies in road accident

A highway accident claimed the life of a construction worker while he was on the job near Airdrie, Alta., on the evening of Sept. 12.

According to a news release from the Alberta RCMP, construction crews were working on Highway 2, about ten kilometres north of Airdrie, using an excavator to load steel girders onto a flat deck trailer. Northbound traffic on the highway was reduced to one lane during this work.

Early investigation of the incident suggested that a northbound semi tractor-trailer unit hit one of the girders, police said.

“The resulting impact struck a construction worker, and he was pronounced dead on scene,” the release stated. “No other injuries were reported.”

Alberta Labour spokesperson Trent Bancarz said that the construction crew had been using a small crane attached to the excavator to lift the steel girders from a truck and load them onto the trailer.

“Somehow, the barrier swung into the highway side accidentally, and it was struck by an oncoming tractor-trailer unit, which then put the barrier back towards the workers,” said Bancarz. “It struck one of them, and he died as a result of the injuries.”

He added that he had never heard of a similar accident with girders in a road work zone. “So it certainly isn’t common.”

The driver of the semi truck remained at the scene of the accident, police said.

Occupational health and safety officers from Alberta Labour attended the scene, and northbound traffic was shut down on the highway for about three hours as they investigated. By 10 a.m. the following day, one northbound lane had reopened.

Bancarz confirmed that Alberta Labour’s oh&s division would continue to investigate the fatality.

The RCMP does not plan to release the name of the victim publicly, but it confirmed that he had been 37 years old and had hailed from Red Deer.

Airdrie is located about 28 kilometres north of Calgary, in Rocky View County.

Safety amendment violates rail workers’ privacy rights: Unifor

Canada’s largest private-sector union is warning that a recent amendment to the Canada Transportation Act, which would make locomotive voice and video recorders (LVVR) mandatory on trains, would be a violation of rail employees’ privacy rights and would not improve safety as intended.

A Sept. 11 media release from Unifor charged that Bill C-49, also known as the Transportation Modernization Act, would “constitute a landmark privacy violation.” The union added that the federal government had not provided sufficient evidence that LVVRs would improve upon the black-box data recorders that the rail sector currently uses.

“Recording workers on the job is not a safety tool, it is a surveillance tool,” Unifor national president Jerry Dias said in a press statement. “Managerial digital surveillance in the transportation industry is a dangerous precedent that will eventually spread to other sectors.

“This cannot become the government standard.”

Unifor rail director Bruce Snow said in his own statement that video and audio surveillance on trains would be “an invasive and unnecessary distraction” that might increase the stress and harm the performance of railway employees.

“Our members work onboard, so they have a unique and personal investment in railway safety,” said Snow. “But federal legislation must not furnish employers with surveillance powers outside the scope of public safety.”

Sponsored by federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau, Bill C-49 passed its second reading in the House of Commons on June 19. The proposed law “amends the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act to allow the use or communication of an onboard recording… if that use or communication is expressly authorized under the Aeronautics Act, the National Energy Board Act, the Railway Safety Act or the Canada Shipping Act, 2001,” the bill read.

Last year, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) published a report, Expanding the use of locomotive voice and video recorders in Canada, which concluded that the use of LVVRs on trains could potentially enhance rail safety and investigations of railway accidents. Involving numerous stakeholders in the industry, the study deemed that LVVR recordings would provide valuable information to TSB investigators, as well as help to prevent accidents by identifying and mitigating risks (COHSN, Sept. 20).

Unifor representatives met with senior Transport Canada officials on Sept. 5 to discuss the bill, according to the release. The Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities began hearings on Bill C-49 on Sept. 11.

Unifor represents more than 315,000 workers in every major industry across Canada.

Vancouver police conduct mass inspections of commercial vehicles

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Commercial Vehicle Unit of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) conducted safety inspections of commercial vehicles all over the city from Sept. 12 to 14, with the help of the Provincial Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement team and other local police services. According to a VPD media release, the inspections were part of an ongoing campaign to identify unsafe road vehicles and promote road safety. On Sept. 12, the inspectors examined 75 vehicles at five random locations and found that every one of them had at least one safety violation, while 40 of them met out-of-service criteria, the release noted. A total of $11,761 in fines was issued that day as a result. Among the areas that the inspectors targeted were mechanical deficiencies, load security, bald tires, brakes, windshields, suspension and steering components; they also flagged vehicles that were in a clear state of disrepair for further inspection.

Driver, 47, charged for trying to run down parking officer

TORONTO, Ont. – A 47-year-old Toronto man has been arrested for an incident in which he allegedly attempted to hit a parking enforcement officer with his car. According to a news release from the Toronto Police Service (TPS), a man became verbally aggressive with the parking officer at about 8:25 a.m. on Sept. 8. The officer was in the process of issuing parking tickets to vehicles in the Avenue Road and Cottingham Street area at the time and had asked the suspect to move his vehicle, but the man refused to do so, police said. The suspect then accelerated his vehicle through a school zone at high speed and swerved towards the officer. Later that day, the TPS arrested Mark Hayman, who is facing charges of assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, driving while under suspension and operating a motor vehicle dangerously. Hayman is expected to make a court appearance on the afternoon of Oct. 17, police said.