News Feature | May 28, 2018

Water Plant Worker Falls To Death

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

A water treatment plant worker died in Winnipeg on Tuesday morning after he fell from a chemical tank.

Police reported that “a 58-year-old Winnipeg man was working on equipment on top of a large chemical storage tank at the water treatment plant, east of the Red River Floodway in the rural municipality of Springfield, when he fell to the ground,” CBC News reported.

“There was a moment of silence prior to a Wednesday morning meeting of the city’s Water and Waste Committee, while flags have been lowered to half-mast at all City of Winnipeg buildings. The city’s website says the $300-million treatment plant, which opened in 2009, can treat 400 million litres of water per day,” OHS, a health and safety magazine, reported.

Emergency services were called immediately, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, the report stated, citing police.

Moira Geer, director of Winnipeg water and wastewater, emailed department staff notifying them of what happened.

"It is with great sadness that I am advising that one of our co-workers at the water treatment plant was involved in an accident this morning and has since succumbed to his injuries," she wrote, per the report.

"We are working very closely with Workplace Safety and Health to determine what happened and want to assure you that safety remains our number 1 priority,” she continued.

“Geer says Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health and [police] are investigating,” OHS reported.

The tragedy is a reminder of how important it is for employers to prioritize worker safety. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that on average, 13 workers die in the U.S. each day, per 2015 statistics.