City worker dies after exposure to poisonous gases

Worker 'a nice guy, a family man'

City worker dies after exposure to poisonous gases

The Saskatchewan provincial government is investigating after one male city worker died last week.

The incident happened in the town of Kindersley at around 10:30 am CST, reported CBC, citing Mayor Rod Perkins.

Three workers were dispatched to an emergency sewer backup in the town's industrial area. One of the workers dug out a manhole cover and climbed into the cavity. In there, however, the worker was apparently overcome by poisonous gases, Perkins said.

"Everyone is shaken up," Perkins said in the CBC report. "He was a nice guy, a family man."

Investigators with the province's Occupational Health and Safety Branch are looking into the incident. Exposure to natural gas can cause natural gas poisoning, noted Constellation Energy Corporation.

“Symptoms of exposure to low levels of natural gas include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and irregular breathing. High levels of natural gas exposure can cause natural gas poisoning, which is characterized by fatigue, severe headaches, memory problems, loss of concentration, nausea, loss of consciousness, and suffocation,” it said.

Previously, British Columbia employer M & M Excavating Services Ltd. was fined $50,551.14 after an incident of natural gas release in its worksite. As the company was excavating to remove an existing retaining wall, the firm's excavator struck and damaged a supply gas line. This resulted in the release of natural gas and the evacuation of the area.

WorkSafeBC investigated the incident and determined that the firm had not consulted the BC 1 Call to locate possible gas lines in the worksite, and had not exposed the gas line by hand prior to beginning its work with an excavator.

In May, a worker died after an ammonia leak at an ice-making facility in B.C. Earlier, B.C. employer Teck Metals Ltd. was also fined $55,060.11 for an occupational health and safety violation relating to ammonia.

In 2020, oil and natural gas company Glencore Canada was fined $137,500 after three workers were injured in an sulphuric acid spray.