Stu­dent still in hospi­tal

Of­fi­cial says in­jured man wasn’t wear­ing proper equip­ment

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF news@cb­

A welding stu­dent at New Dawn Col­lege wasn’t wear­ing the proper safety equip­ment when he suf­fered burns at the school last week.

Michael Gouthro, a stu­dent in the high-pres­sure pipe welding pro­gram, is still re­cov­er­ing at the Queen El­iz­a­beth II Health Sciences Cen­tre in Hal­i­fax where he was trans­ported af­ter his clothes caught fire on Jan. 24.

Erika Shea, com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor at New Dawn En­ter­prises, which op­er­ates the col­lege, said Gouthro didn’t have his leather apron on when the in­ci­dent oc­curred.

“He had his welding hel­met on, he didn’t have the chest pro­tec­tor on and that is where the burn oc­curred,” she said.

The ac­ci­dent took place dur­ing the school day but not dur­ing class, ac­cord­ing to Shea, who said the stu­dents and in­struc­tors were in the build­ing and per­formed first aid and called 911.

“That was what al­lowed them to re­act so quickly,” she said.

The Nova Sco­tia Depart­ment of Labour and Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion and the fire mar­shal were con­tacted as per school pol­icy. The Depart­ment of Labour told the Cape Bre­ton Post that no in­ves­ti­ga­tion was or­dered, al­though it was “pro­vid­ing guid­ance to the in­sti­tu­tion to help im­prove safety pro­to­cols and prac­tices.”

“My un­der­stand­ing is when they did their in­spec­tion, they didn’t find there was any­thing of par­tic­u­lar con­cern — a few mi­nor rec­om­men­da­tions,” said Shea.

She said New Dawn En­ter­prises pres­i­dent Rankin MacSween vis­ited Gouthro in hospi­tal this week and re­ported he is do­ing “ex­cep­tion­ally well,” with his mother Tammy Lynn Gouthro, who is ready to give birth at any mo­ment, at his side with her own bag packed in case she needs to be ad­mit­ted.

She said Gouthro, who pre­vi­ously earned his ba­sic welding diploma at New Dawn, seemed ea­ger to re­turn to the school and even ex­pressed con­cern about be­ing able to com­plete his fi­nal ex­ams.

While classes con­tin­ued nor­mally af­ter the in­ci­dent, Shea said a so­cial worker will be at the school next week “in case there are any stu­dents that feel like it may have been up­set­ting … we want to make sure they have some­one with pro­fes­sional coun­selling abil­i­ties to talk to.”


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