The Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) has issued an order against the City of Greater Sudbury with respect to the death of a municipal employee on Friday.
Greater Sudbury Police reported officers were dispatched Friday at about 2:50 p.m. to a winter salt and sand yard located on Municipal Road 8 in Levack, where it was discovered that a 40-year-old man was dead.
In a statement issued May 7, the city confirmed the person who lost their life was a municipal employee and expressed condolences to the person’s loved ones.
"We are heart-broken by this tragic loss," the statement reads. "Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends, and all those who knew and worked with the employee. Our immediate focus is on supporting the staff members closest to this employee."
The statements added that the municipality is working closely with Greater Sudbury Police Service, the Office of the Coroner and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to understand exactly what occurred. At the request of the family, the employee's name and any identifying information will not be released.
"The information we have is limited at this time," the city's statement continues. "Further updates will be provided as necessary, pending appropriate notification to loved ones and staff, and in line with the external investigation process."
Also on Saturday, Local 4705 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) posted a message of condolence.
"It is with great sadness that CUPE 4705 acknowledges the loss of one of our brothers in a tragic work place accident yesterday," said the CUPE Facebook page
In terms of the order issued by the ministry, no information has been released thus far about the nature of that order.
"On Friday, May 6, 2022, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) was notified that a worker had been fatally injured. The worker had been working on equipment operation for the roads department for the City of Greater Sudbury. Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased worker," said an email statement from the ministry.
"An MLTSD inspector has been assigned and one order has been issued to the employer, City of Greater Sudbury. No further details are available at this time as the ministry’s investigation is ongoing," the statement continued.
While the nature of the order has not been revealed, orders that are issued in such situations are usually one of two scenarios; a stop-work order or a non-compliance order.
In the case of a stop-work order it means the employer has been directed to stop all activities that might have been associated with a workers' death until such time as it is deemed that activities can be resumed safely.
In the case of a non-compliance order it means the ministry has deemed the employer has allowed a situation to occur that is not in compliance with Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act. The employer is directed to take corrective action.
So far, no information has been revealed by the city or by the ministry with respect to how the death occurred and whether similar situations have occurred in the past.
A post-mortem examination will be performed by the Ontario Coroner to determine the cause of death. In Ontario, when a worker dies in the workplace, a public inquest is mandatory.