Occupational Health and Safety have issued a stop work order against a southeast warehouse after a fatal industrial accident.

A 44-year-old man was killed late Wednesday night at Direct Distribution Centre located in the 5500 block of 69 Ave SE after he was crushed by a large storage rack that fell on the forklift he was operating.

Occupational Health and Safety spokesperson Barrie Harrison told Metro the order will be in effect until the employers review their workplace procedures.


“They have to ensure it doesn’t happen again and prove it is safe to return to work, and we will be reviewing the safety policies,” he said.

As for the incident itself Harrison said it took several hours to retrieve the body under the debris and investigators are trying to determine how the tragedy happened.

“We still don’t know if he was loading or unloading or what happened exactly, but these investigations take months ... because sometimes they result in charges.”

“It’s unusual for southern Alberta to have that many, usually north of Red Deer has more. It’s a reminder workplaces need to ensure they are taking safety precautions,” Harrison added.

Fire department spokesperson Jeff Budai told Metro it was a long night for crews who hoped for a better outcome.

“We felt like we accomplished something with the teamwork but it wasn’t the outcome we wanted,” Budai said.

Ian Wilson, safety campaign manager for the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund (JPMF), which aims to educate people on workplace safety, said the tragic incident highlights the need for more attention in this area.

“We are incredibly saddened to hear of yet another death in the workplace,” Wilson said.
Police haven’t released the identity of the victim pending notification of next of kin. Occupational Health and Safety inspectors continue to investigate.


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