Investigation into mechanic’s death concludes
Workers Compensation Board says shifting jack stands contributed to accident
The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of P.E.I. has deemed the March 15 death of a man in his home-based mechanic shop in Borden-Carleton an accident. The investigation determined the man, Douglas MacKinnon, was working on his property where a vehicle was raised on jack stands. The stands collapsed, and the vehicle fell on him. “The stands were placed outside on soft ground. The handbrake also wasn’t engaged, and the wheels were not blocked,” explained Danny Miller, director of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). “By blocked, I mean, if you were on a hill and you wanted to stop your vehicle from rolling, you’d put blocks behind or in front of the tires.”
These factors, he said, contributed to the stands shifting.
Miller says it’s hard to compare a home-based mechanic’s shop to that of one in a separate facility.
“What I can say in this situation, is the car the gentleman was working on wasn’t in a shop. The stands were not on a hard surface like cement, and it wasn’t lifted up on a mechanical hoist, seen in other shops — home-based or other.
Based on the investigation, Miller said the death was accidental. He said based on reported workplace accidents, an incident like this is not common.
The WCB and OHS are responsible for any businesses that fall under provincial jurisdiction. Miller said information from investigations is often shared with industries the accident occurred in.
“In this case, because it’s not common, we’ll rely on when officers inspect worksites or similar businesses, officers would remind them of this instance and the proper measures to ensure safety.”