It can happen without warning – a previously unseen hazard makes itself known with tragic results.
For one Woodstock, Ont. Driver, that happened when a routine unloading turned deadly April 30. The 47-year-old was moving granite countertops out of his truck at a Kitchener supply store when disaster struck and he was crushed.
Details of how the incident came to pass are being closely guarded by authorities until an Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation can be completed, but the incident is hardly an isolated one.
For all the advertising governments do to promote safe practices in the workplace, statistics on workplace safety can be difficult to interpret. No national statistics exist, and those kept and curated by provincial organizations vary.
TORONTO, ON – New Ontario Provincial Police data shows that 71 people died in collisions involving commercial transport trucks last year on OPP-patrolled roads, compared to 66 in 2014.
The 2015 numbers had the highest number of transport truck-related road deaths in the last eight years.
In all, 299 people were killed in 260 fatal collisions on OPP-patrolled roads last year.
While drugs, alcohol, speed and seatbelts are still major contributing factors to the province’s driving deaths, carelessness from distracted drivers has topped the list for the third consecutive year.
Last year, 69 people died in road crashes in which driver distraction was a factor, compared to 61 speed-related, 51 seat belt-related and 45 alcohol and drug-related deaths, the latter being the lowest total over the last decade.
Each year for the past three years (2013-2015), OPP officers laid approximately 20,000 distracted driving charges throughout Ontario, more than double the number of impaired driving charges they laid over the same three-year period.
“If you are texting, talking on your cell phone or pre-occupied with other activities while behind the wheel, you are not driving safely,” said OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes, in a statement. “It does not suffice to keep your eyes on the road. Driving involves sharing space with drivers, their passengers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians and it is impossible to do so safely unless your eyes and mind are solely focused on driving,” he added.