Brossard: an apprentice killed by a load poorly attached to a crane

The horrific death of a worker that occurred more than a year ago on a major construction site in Brossard was preventable, according to a coroner who denounces deficient work methods.

On the morning of July 8, 2021, Mathieu Adam was directing the driver of a tower crane transporting formwork panels to a semi-trailer truck when he was fatally injured in the heart of the Solar Uniquartier megaconstruction site.

When the load, which weighed more than 7,200 pounds, was being lowered, it fell from the slings before hitting the bed of the truck. Materials thrown into the air by the force of the impact hit the 34-year-old man who worked for Coffrages Synergy head-on. His death was pronounced at the scene.

A few minutes earlier, he had attached the load himself by doing a “double basket” sling.

“This method is standard practice accepted by the employer who has not identified the risk of slipping. Mr. Adam is executing according to his skills and his limited experience, ”noted coroner Me Nathalie Lefebvre, in her report made public on Tuesday.

The victim Mathieu Adam, who was 34 years old.

Courtesy picture

The victim Mathieu Adam, who was 34 years old.

The Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) also qualified the method, the risks of which are documented, as “inappropriate and approximate”.

The poor handling of the formwork panels in the pile on the site was also considered as the cause of the accident by the CNESST.

Badly framed

As too often, « the pace of work has been prioritized rather than safety », laments Félix Ferland, health and safety manager for CSN-Construction.

“Mathieu Adam was only an apprentice, who was poorly supervised on the site, probably because of the lack of manpower and the tight deadlines to be met. […] Too often it takes a death for awareness, ”he drops.

In addition, the Coffrages Synergy company, of Lavaltrie, received a statement of offense for having flouted a section of the Act respecting occupational health and safety, confirmed to the Log Yvon Grégoire, CNESST spokesperson.

He was unable to indicate the amount of the fine. And since the company has pleaded not guilty, the case will soon be heard in the Court of Quebec.

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