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Poor planning led to worker's death in rock blasting operation: report

excavator puslinch

Poor planning of rock blasting operations and a lack of guidance on where to take refuge have been identified as the causes of an excavator operator's death last year in Cantley, in Quebec's Outaouais region.

The worker, who was operating the hydraulic shovel to collect debris after the blasting, was discovered by his co-workers. He had been thrown to the ground by the blast, 5.7 metres from his initial position.

The incident occurred in September 2022 and triggered an investigation by Quebec's workplace safety board, the CNESST.

CNESST's report found the victim was 43.6 metres from the blast site, i.e. "inside the blast zone," while other workers were further away.

The victim had climbed onto the platform of his hydraulic shovel to film the rock blasting with his cell phone.

According to the CNESST, the "planning of the blasting was dangerous," and there was an "absence of instructions on where to take refuge" from the explosion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Sept. 20, 2023. Top Stories

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