Charges laid over Stephenville incident that killed construction worker at CNA campus

·1 min read
Gerard Drover died of brain injuries caused by an August 2019 incident at the College of the North Atlantic campus in Stephenville.  (RothLochston - image credit)
Gerard Drover died of brain injuries caused by an August 2019 incident at the College of the North Atlantic campus in Stephenville. (RothLochston - image credit)
RothLochston
RothLochston

Occupational health and safety charges have been brought against construction company Pomerleau Inc. over an incident that killed a worker almost two years ago.

Gerard Drover, 55, died of a brain injury after an industrial mishap that occurred while working at the new College of the North Atlantic campus in Stephenville, on Newfoundland's west coast.

Drover was injured Aug. 27, 2019. He died in hospital in St. John's several days later.

In a statement, the Department of Digital Government and Service N.L. said the incident happened when a worker was "painting piping near the ceiling of a building under construction."

Speaking with CBC News in 2019, Marty Gregory — Drover's cousin and friend, as well as the president of another construction company — said a scissor lift that Drover was operating came into contact with an overhead industrial fan.

"I do not accept that Gerard Drover was responsible for this," Gregory said at the time. He described Drover as meticulous and safety-conscious.

"He knew the rules. He abided by the rules."

Lindsay Bird/CBC
Lindsay Bird/CBC

Pomerleau is facing four separate counts under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its workers. Specific counts involve training and supervision, making sure workers and supervisors were familiar with hazards, and failing to ensure people not in its employ were not exposed to safety risks.

Gregory, who had described his cousin's death as "senseless and preventable," said Drover had been working for a local contractor that had been subcontracted by Pomerleau.

The case is expected to be called in provincial court in Stephenville on Sept. 20.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting