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N.B. inquest recommends safety improvements after workplace death

New Brunswick's provincial flag flies in Ottawa on Monday July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld New Brunswick's provincial flag flies in Ottawa on Monday July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
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A jury at a coroner’s inquest in New Brunswick that was ordered after a workplace death has recommended safety improvements at businesses that manufacture wood products.

A five-member jury looked into the death of William Russell over two days in Fredericton and heard from nine witnesses.

The province says Russell died on Feb. 11, 2021, after he was injured while working at Marwood Ltd in Tracyville.

The inquest found his death was the result of an accident.

The following recommendations were made to WorkSafeNB with the goal of preventing similar deaths in the future:

  • Utilize mature industries and other jurisdictions in Canada to determine safety standards, best practices, regulation and legislation that will help New Brunswick companies understand and implement safety management systems in a clear, specific and easy-to-understand way.
  • Templates and examples could be made available to companies for inspection and documentation requirements. This would be in lieu of the Occupational Health and Safety Act just saying that documentation or inspection is required.
  • More detail should be included in the act or regulation on what is required for training, documenting training, and data on which employees are up to date or who is late for training. Additionally, there should be more detail on the delivery, communication and sign-off for standard operation procedures.

The province says the chief coroner will forward the recommendations to the appropriate agencies and their responses will be included in the chief coroner’s annual report for this year.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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