In­ves­ti­ga­tion into me­chanic’s death con­cludes

Work­ers Com­pen­sa­tion Board says shift­ing jack stands con­trib­uted to ac­ci­dent

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY MIL­LI­CENT MCKAY Mil­li­[email protected]­nal­pi­oneer.com

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,” said 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.”

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