Worker dies from electric shock

CNESST reveals results of its investigation into the accident, which took place in 2019

Worker dies from electric shock
The incident took place in July 2019.

A worker for trucking company Le Groupe Neault was killed in an electrocution accident in Trois-Rivières, QC, on July 23, 2019.

The Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), the organization which administers Quebec’s occupational health and safety plan, revealed the findings of its investigation into the incident earlier this month.

André L’Heureux – a truck driver for the company – was working near boulevard des Chenaux in Trois-Rivières and was busy unloaded ballast stones near a railway line.

To do the job, he and his supervisor – present at the scene – had agreed on where to park the truck. The truck was parked directly underneath a three-phase electrical line. While using the truck to unload the stones, the tipper came into contact with one of the (live) electrical lines.

From behind the truck, the assistant supervisor saw L’Heureux jump from out of the driver’s seat and move away from the truck. L’Heureux then went back to the truck and touched the loading bar – which was, at that point, electrically charged. The worker suffered an electric shock and fell to the ground.

Emergency services were called to the scene, and L’Heureux was taken to hospital where he sadly died a few days later.


The CNESST found three main causes for the accident:

  • The truck’s maneuvering had taken place directly under live electrical lines.
  • The work’s organization and risk assessment made to unload the material near these electrical lines was not up to scratch.
  • The driver’s training to operate the truck in such close proximity to these lines was insufficient.

Following the accident, the CNESST forbade the employer, Le Groupe Neault, from using the truck used during the accident. The CNESST also required that the employer inform all its workers on the dangers relating to their work on construction sites, train them and come up with a plan for dangerous situations.

Furthermore, the CNESST suspended the ongoing work near the railway line around the electrical lines and required that the site supervisor, Chemins de fer Québec-Gatineau inc. (Quebec Gatineau Railway), submit a safe working method for working near electrical lines to the CNESST.

The employer and the site supervisor agreed to the requirements.