SAINT JOHN (GNB) – Recommendations have been made to improve the safety of people working at height at construction sites. The recommendations follow a coroner’s inquest in Saint John.

A mandatory inquest into the death of Christopher Adam Carleton was held Nov. 26-27. Carleton died Feb. 6, 2018, from injuries sustained in a fall from a three-metre (10-foot) stepladder during his employment at a construction project site in Saint John. An inquest is a formal court proceeding that allows for public presentation of all evidence relating to a death.

The five-person jury selected from the community made the following recommendations:

  • That, if a trade requires working from a lift and/or a ladder, there be a mandatory requirement to have a different style of helmet than a hard hat, such as a “climbers” style helmet, that is snug and fitted (with a chin strap) and would stay on the head.
  • That, where practical, persons required to work at heights should be required to use the most stable form of elevating equipment; for example, man lifts or industrial staging, starting with the most stable, down to the use of a ladder.

The Office of the Chief Coroner will forward these recommendations to the appropriate government departments and agencies for consideration and response. The responses will be included in the chief coroner’s annual report for 2018.

The inquest was held pursuant to Section 7(b) of the Coroners Act, which states the Office of the Coroner shall hold an inquest when a worker dies as a result of an accident occurring in the course of his or her employment at or in a woodland operation, sawmill, lumber processing plant, food processing plant, fish processing plant, construction project site, mining plant or mine, including a pit or quarry.