Inquest into AIM worker’s death makes 7 safety recommendations

A coroner’s inquest has made seven safety recommendations into the death of a truck driver at American Iron and Metal (AIM) in Saint John.

Bruce Lagacé died on Nov. 24, 2021, after he allegedly climbed out of a truck on the passenger side and was sideswiped by a crane operator.

According to company president and CEO Herb Black, Legacé’s death was the result of human error.

The provincial government ordered a coroner’s inquest in August to allow for the public presentation of all evidence.

While it does not make any finding of legal responsibility or assign blame, suggestions can be made to prevent similar deaths in the future.

During the two-day proceedings into the incident, the five-person jury determined his death was the result of an accident.

After hearing from 13 witnesses over the inquest, held at the Saint John Law Courts, they put forward the following seven recommendations:

· On arrival, the receiver should ensure the customer has signed updated procedures and protocols.

· Safety procedures should be reviewed by a third party periodically and updated when needed.

· There should be a clear procedure for communicating transfers of duty.

· The driver should not stay in the vehicle during the off-loading process.

· The driver should remain in the safe area until the site employee indicates it is safe to return to the vehicle.

· The cleaning process should be completed in designated cleaning areas.

· There should be punitive measures for safety infractions.

According to provincial officials, the chief coroner will send the suggestions to the appropriate agencies for consideration and response, which will be included in the chief coroner’s annual report for 2023.