Alberta village facing 7 OHS charges after woman killed by falling lawn mower in 2017

The village of Dewberry has been charged with seven offences under Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety laws in connection with a 2017 workplace death.

On June 14, 2017, a 21-year-old woman died from injuries she sustained while working on a large riding lawn mower in the small Alberta village.

Kitscoty RCMP said they responded to the Dewberry maintenance yard and found a woman who was killed while working on a piece of equipment. The lawn mower was being held up while she worked on it and the jack gave way, RCMP said.

Local EMS and volunteer firefighters tried to revive her but the young woman died at the scene.

She was an employee of the village, the mayor confirmed.

On June 11, 2019, Alberta Labour confirmed the village had been charged with seven offences:

  • 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

The first court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 6 in Lloydminster. Dewberry is about 70 kilometres northwest of Lloydminster.

“As the matter is now before the court, Labour and Immigration is unable to comment further,” the province said in an email to Global News.

A memorial grows outside a maintenance yard in Dewberry, Alta. where a 21-year-old woman was killed by a falling lawn mower.

A memorial grows outside a maintenance yard in Dewberry, Alta. where a 21-year-old woman was killed by a falling lawn mower.

A memorial grows outside a maintenance yard in Dewberry, Alta. where a 21-year-old woman was killed by a falling lawn mower.

A memorial grows outside a maintenance yard in Dewberry, Alta. where a 21-year-old woman was killed by a falling lawn mower.

A memorial grows outside a maintenance yard in Dewberry, Alta. where a 21-year-old woman was killed by a falling lawn mower.

A memorial grows outside a maintenance yard in Dewberry, Alta. where a 21-year-old woman was killed by a falling lawn mower. June 15, 2017.

The Village of Dewberry, Alta. Seen from Google Earth.

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