oilsandsalberta_cp_4674936

A giant dump truck, similar to the one in this picture, collided with a pickup truck at an oilsands project north of Fort McMurray, Alta., Saturday night, killing the driver of the smaller vehicle. ((Canadian Press))

Two Alberta health and safety investigators were on the scene Monday of a fatal collision at an oilsands mine north of Fort McMurray after the driver of a pickup was killed when he was hit by a 400-tonne dump truck.

Christopher Allen Vanmoorsal, 26, of Fort Saskatchewan, just northeast of Edmonton, died in the crash, which occurred about 8 p.m. Saturday at the Muskeg River Mine, operated by Albian Sands Energy Inc., RCMP said.

"This is the first fatality in the six years the mine has been in operation," said Shell Canada Ltd. spokesperson Simone Marler on Monday.

Marler said the project, partly owned by Shell, has been audited by outside experts for its safety record.

"This is the safest mine in Canada, and among the safest in North America and the world."

Counselling is being offered to workers who need help coping with the death of a co-worker, she added.

The dump truck involved in the collision was a Caterpillar 797-B, used to haul the bitumen from the mine site to processing facilities.

News of the fatality comes on the International Day of Mourning for workers who have been killed or injured on the job.

Provincial government figures released earlier this month show there were 154 workplace deaths in Alberta last year, up from 124 in 2006, an increase of 24 per cent. At the same time, injuries were down by six per cent, from 36,701 to 34,227.