Two years ago to the day, a 21-year-old woman was killed in a workplace incident while working on a large riding lawn mower in a small eastern Alberta village. After learning just days ago that charges have been laid in the workplace fatality, the woman’s father says his family is still reeling from the incident.
“All these anniversaries are extra tough days for everybody involved,” Dwight Levick said over the phone from Porcupine Plain, Sask. on Thursday.
“I know this isn’t going to be a quick process but hopefully at the end of the day, it helps with the healing process.”
On June 13, 2017, Kitscoty RCMP were called to a sudden death at a maintenance yard in Dewberry, Alta., about 200 kilometres east of Edmonton. Martina Levick was killed while working on a piece of equipment. The lawn mower was being held up while she worked on it and a jack gave way, RCMP said at the time.
Local EMS and volunteer firefighters tried to revive the young woman, but she died at the scene.
“Martina was the type of girl that lived life to the fullest and the last thing she’d want for any of us is to sit around and mope and cry and not get on with our lives,” Levick said.
“Out of respect to her, we have to do our best to live our lives as normal as possible under the circumstances.”
Earlier this week, Alberta Labour confirmed the Village of Dewberry has been charged with seven offences under Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety laws.
- Three counts of failing to protect the health and safety of a worker
- Failing to ensure the worker was properly trained to work safely or under the supervision of a competent worker
- Failing to ensure maintenance was performed according to the manufacturer’s specifications
- Failure to properly secure equipment during maintenance
- Failure to ensure an effective communication system was in place while working alone
Levick said his family learned of the charges last week and while nothing will bring their daughter back, he feels the charges are appropriate.
“All along, I guess our biggest thing is accountability and awareness of what’s happened — and accountability for what happened to our daughter,” he said. “In the end, someone is being held accountable for what happened and what shouldn’t have happened.”
Levick said his family’s mission over the past couple of years has been to keep talking about what happened to their daughter, in hopes no family has to go through what they did.
“Right now, I guess the best thing we can do to carry on her legacy is use her as a training person — to make people aware of how quick things can go wrong and your loved ones don’t come home at the end of the day.”
The first court appearance for the village is scheduled for Aug. 6 in Lloydminster.
— With files from Emily Mertz, Global News