Three B.C. workers hurt in separate workplace accidents involving animals

A grizzly bear, a dead pig and a tank of live seafood were involved in three very different workplace accidents recorded by WorkSafe B.C. in September

Three B.C. workers were involved in three widely different accidents involving animals last month, according to WorkSafeBC’s biweekly roundup of workplace injuries and deaths.

In one case, a worker died after he fell almost 2.5 metres from the top of a tank filled with live seafood.

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According to a summary provided by WorkSafe B.C., the worker was making a seafood delivery in the Lower Mainland using a flat-deck truck. He was standing on the lid of one tank to retrieve seafood from another when he fell.

In another incident, a worker at a Lower Mainland meat-cutting business was injured when “a hog fell from overhead shackles, lodging (the) worker’s … knife into the worker’s leg,” said a WorkSafeBC report.

No further details were immediately available about the incident.

The third person — a hunting guide — encountered a mother grizzly bear and two cubs while working with a group of clients in a remote area of northern B.C.

The mother bear charged the guide, who dropped to the ground and tried to remain still as the bear attacked him, biting and clawing him several times. The guide was able to fight off the bear by hitting it in the face until it retreated. He was airlifted out of the area by helicopter.

A GoFundMe page started for the guide said he was “bitten on the hip, arm and back, but luckily, he escaped with his life. He suffered a severed tricep, potential nerve damage on his dominant arm and lacerations on his hip and back.”

The WorkSafeBC report also contained information about a forestry worker in northern B.C. who was killed when he was hit by his truck while repairing the front steering, and a Lower Mainland tree trimmer who was pruning a large maple tree when he fell and was struck by a piece of the tree.

The report also detailed two “close calls,” the first at a Lower Mainland ice arena, which had to be evacuated after an ammonia gas leak occurred in the mechanical room.

Another close call happened in the Vancouver Island/Coastal region when a 1,000-litre load of formic acid fell onto a dock after a crane failed. About 300 litres of acid was spilled.

There were no injuries reported in the close-call cases.

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