EDMUNDSTON (GNB) – A jury has made recommendations to improve the safety of people working in logging operations.

A mandatory coroner’s inquest into the death of Mario Roy was held Nov. 24-25 in Edmundston. Roy died on Sept. 7, 2018 from injuries sustained during his employment at Érablière TDG Somers Inc. in Saint-Quentin.

An inquest is a formal court proceeding that allows for public presentation of all evidence relating to a death.

The five-person jury selected from the community made the following recommendations:

  • That legislative amendments proposed by WorkSafeNB to the Occupational Health and Safety Act be adopted into law as soon as possible.
  • That employers provide logging teams with appropriate means of communication, located directly on the site.
  • That standard provincial training based on Part XXI – Logging in Silviculture Operations of General Regulation 91-191 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act be developed and made available to employers; that training be reviewed annually with employees; and that employers maintain a training log.
  • Establish a relationship between WorkSafeNB and all small businesses with fewer than 20 employees that includes inspections at fixed, regular intervals.
  • That the term “working alone” be better defined under Regulation 92-133 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to significantly reduce response time in an emergency.

The chief coroner will forward these recommendations to the appropriate government departments and agencies for consideration and response. The responses will be included in the chief coroner’s annual report for 2020.

The inquest was held pursuant to Section 7(b) of the Coroners Act, which states a coroner shall hold an inquest when a worker dies as a result of an accident occurring in the course of his or her employment at or in a woodland operation, sawmill, lumber processing plant, food processing plant, fish processing plant, construction project site, mining plant or mine, including a pit or quarry.