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‘Heartbreaking news’: Ontario Tech students react to construction worker death

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WATCH: Staff and students from Ontario Tech University are sharing their condolences after a man was killed while working on one of the school's new buildings. Brittany Rosen has more on the incident and reaction. – Dec 16, 2020

The Ontario Tech University community is sharing their condolences following the accidental death of a construction worker on Tuesday.

The employee, a 54-year-old man, was working on one of the school’s new buildings when he was hit and trapped under a large concrete slab.

The structure was being built for the university’s student union.

Students who attend the north campus, where the incident happened, say they’re devastated to learn of the news.

Read more: Man dead after industrial accident at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa: police

“I was pretty familiar with the site,” said Shahroz Ahmad. “When construction started, we would usually take that street to go to the (university).”

Komayl Jawadi, another student at the school, says “this is really heart-breaking news.”

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“Especially for the family to hear about this. I don’t know what they could be going through right now. My heart goes out to them.”

On Twitter, university president Steven Murphy tweeted, “we grieve the death of a construction worker, killed accidentally while working on our new building (Tuesday).”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

 

Eastern Construction Company Ltd. tells Global News the worker was one of its subcontractors hired for the project.

“We’re deeply saddened that an accident such as this has occurred at one of our project sites,” said president and CEO Bryan Arnold.

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“Our management and safety personnel have and continue to attend the site and we’re fully investigating and co-operating fully with all authorities involved.”

Read more: Funeral held for Henry Harder, victim of London, Ont., building collapse

In a statement, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development said the worker’s “employer is 2K4 2018 Inc. Two MLTSD inspectors and an MLTSD engineer attended the scene. One requirement was issued to the constructor. The investigation is ongoing.”

The workplace fatality is not the first in Ontario that has happened just a week out from the holiday season. In London, two construction workers died after a building collapsed.

Workplace safety activist Kevin Jones says he’s concerned about the fight the victim’s family may endure while seeking compensation.

Jones suffers from daily chronic pain stemming from a workplace injury he suffered while working at a tractor factory more than two decades ago.

Read more: Nest on Wonderland hires own investigators to find cause of London, Ont., building collapse

“I know what the system’s like, I’ve dealt with it for 21 years,” said Jones.

“Is his family going to have to deal with a nightmare in dealing with that?”

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