A man was killed Wednesday on the Nova Chemicals' site at Joffre. The incident took place about 9 a.m. on Wednesday while workers were taking apart a crane on the site.

Man dies in crane accident at Nova Chemicals’ Joffre site

A man was killed while taking apart a crane at the Nova Chemicals’ Joffre site just one day before the National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

A man was killed while taking apart a crane at the Nova Chemicals’ Joffre site just one day before the National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

It was the first workplace fatality on the site since the early 1980s when a worker was killed during the construction of the Ethylene 2 facility.

Rick Van Hemmen, Joffre site team leader, said it was a tough day with certainly a lot of emotions at the site.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s an employee or a contractor or anybody on the site, we have to do our best to keep everybody safe,” said Van Hemmen.

Alberta Labour spokesperson Lauren Welsh said workers were taking apart a crane when a piece of a crane hit one worker around 9 a.m.

Nova emergency personnel rescued the worker from the crane. The man died on his way to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

“OHS officers are on site right now and they will be investigating,” said Welsh. “A stop work order is in place for crane deconstruction.”

Van Hemmen said they are co-operating fully with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and the Blackfalds RCMP’s investigation.

At the time there were about 700 people working on the project. There were no other injuries.

The Employee and Family Assistance Program services will be offered to employees and contractors, said Van Hemmen.

The man’s name and age have not been released.

The expansion project, which includes a polyethylene reactor, is expected to boost Nova’s polyethylene production capacity by 40 per cent. Work began in 2013 and the project is expected to be mechanically complete by the end of August and up and running by year’s end.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and co-workers of the worker,” said Bill Greene, Nova senior vice president. “As we recognize that during a difficult time like this, distractions can easily happen, we want to encourage employees to remain vigilant and look out for one another.”


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