Site should have been secured, says town official
The top official with the Town of Carbonear says a crew of public works employees did not follow proper safety protocols during an infrastructure repair project on Bemister’s Hill earlier this month.
Town administrator Cynthia Davis said the director of operations and public works, Brian O’Grady, met with “outside staff ” to ensure that the proper procedure is followed in the future for securing a work site.
“ What you witnessed per the photo provided is not considered by the town to be a safe work procedure and the site should have been secured,” Davis wrote in a statement to The Compass. “It is unfortunate that this occurred.”
An employee with The Compass photographed the scene on Bemister’s Hill in Carbonear on Sept. 16, during the noon hour.
A public works crew had excavated a carsized hole in the road, apparently to repair a water or sewer line. While there were several traffic cones placed around the site, there were no traffic warning signs, despite the fact this was at the bottom of a very steep hill.
What’s more, the site was completely unsupervised when a staff member with The Compass walked by, and there was no safety fencing around the hole, which was quite deep and filling with muddy water.
It appears the crew had left for lunch, leaving their equipment — and the hole — unattended.
The Compass published the photo in its Sept. 21 edition. Town officials did not respond to e-mails and a phone message prior to deadline.
Davis e-mailed a statement to The Compass on Sept. 20.
She said the safety of the public and staff is a priority for the Town of Carbonear, and every effort will be made to ensure that safe work practices and procedures are maintained.
“ Thank you for bringing this to our attention,” she wrote. “It is fortunate that an incident did not occur and now we have an opportunity to take corrective action.”