Improving Trucker Safety After 2019 Workplace Death

The death of a truck driver from northern New Brunswick in January 2019 has resulted in recommendations to improve the safety of truck drivers.

A mandatory coroner’s inquest into the death of Camille Cayouette, held on Sept. 20 and 21, wrapped up on Friday. Cayouette died from injuries sustained while working for Dube Trucking in Saint-Quentin.

The five-member jury at the Edmundston Law Courts heard from 20 witnesses and made five of the following recommendations to improve safety:

  • Rigorous inspections of the vehicle and trailer should be mandatory prior to each shift for operators under a Class 1 licence. This would include completion and signing of a checklist as a mandatory step rather than simply a best practice.
  • Weekly inspections of vehicles and trailers should be completed by a heavy equipment mechanic, or by a designated maintenance person, and ensure that any breakage is repaired and documented, including brake adjustments.
  • When a hazard has been identified by a supervisor, the logging roads should be closed until proper maintenance.
  • The supervisor or designated maintenance person must ensure that all current and next-shift truck drivers are notified of the road closure or other relevant information.
  • Radio repeaters, with first responder frequency, should be added on J.D. Irving Ltd. towers to fill in gaps.

Meanwhile, the presiding coroner made two recommendations:

  • All employees or contract employees operating an oversized truck working on private and Crown land must complete the Anatomy of a Rollover and Your Greatest Risk training courses or an equivalent specifically for winter driving. It will be the employer’s responsibility to offer its training in both official languages.
  • All drivers of oversized trucks will need to meet the criteria established by WorkSafeNB prior to being able to operate this type of truck.

The province says the recommendations would be forwarded to the appropriate agencies for consideration and response, adding the response will be included in the chief coroner’s annual report.