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Contract employee killed on Manitoba Hydro work site near Gillam, Man.

An employee of a Manitoba Hydro sub-contractor died after a work place incident near Gillam Wednesday.
An employee of a Manitoba Hydro sub-contractor died after a work place incident near Gillam Wednesday. Manitoba Hydro / submitted

An employee for a contractor working on a Manitoba Hydro site has died in a work place incident near Gillam, Man.

The man, from Lake Manitoba First Nation, had worked with Forbes Bros Powerline Construction for several years.

Forbes Bros was contracted by Manitoba Hydro for work on the transmission line that will carry electricity from the Keeyask Generating Station.

RELATED: Manitoba generating station costs jump $2 billion

Corey Papp, VP of corporate services for Forbes Bros told Global News Jan. 18 they were mourning the loss of a worker who had been a labourer at the site since the project began in 2015.

The worker was struck in the side of the head Wednesday by a steel bundle that was being loaded for transport to the job site.

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“We had a Forbes employee suffer a head injury while he was securing a load of material onto a flatbed trailer. They were in a material yard just outside of Gillam.  They were preparing to transport the material out to the jobsite and our worker was helping to secure with strapping and tie down the load, and that’s when a piece of material fell off and struck our worker in the side of the head,” Papp said.

According to Papp, the worker was given first aid at the site and died after being transported to hospital.

“He was awake and talking to the crew that was helping him before the ambulance got there, and on the way to the hospital I understand that he remained conscious and declined as he was in the hospital.”

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Papp confirmed the company is working with Manitoba Workplace, Safety and Health and Manitoba Hydro to try to determine what happened.

RELATED: Contract worker killed at Suncor site near Fort McMurray

The name of the employee is not being released.  His immediate family and relatives have all been notified and supports have been put in place for workers.

“One of our first actions is to take care of the family and our employees that may have been affected. Yesterday we lined up counselling services. Dispatched them up to the site and also making them available throughout the province to anybody who may have known or may need those services,” Papp said.

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Papp stopped short of calling the mishap a ‘freak accident’ saying that all accidents have a cause to them, even though they don’t yet know what caused this one. He said they will be looking into training and competency records as part of the investigation.

“Anything that may have caused or contributed to the incident. We certainly will be coming up with corrective actions if things need to be addressed to prevent this from ever happening again.”

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