Inuvik company investigated after 2 workplace injuries

An Inuvik company is under investigation by the territory's Workers' Compensation Board after a pair of serious workplace mishaps in the last two months.

The Northwest Territories' Workers' Compensation Board is investigating two serious accidents in two monthsinvolving the same Inuvik company.

A safety officer is looking into the accidents, which involved workers with Beaufort LeasingLtd. in Inuvik.

In an incident in early May, a man lost most of his thumb after a trailer was dropped on it. Then, on July 7, a man was crushed beneath a forklift truck.

Both incidents involved the same driver, says asafety official.

Bill Wong, the senior safety officer with the Workers' Compensation Board in Inuvik, says he'll finish writing the reports for both incidents sometime next month, but couldn't say whether charges would be laid.

He says there's no record of other similar safety violations involving the same operation.

Crushed worker 'thought he was going to die'

The most recent accidentleft Chris Cookin a wheelchair, and unlikely to walk for at least six months. The accident broke the 21-year-old's thigh bone, hip and tail bone.

After two weeks in an Edmonton hospital, Cook is now recovering in a hospital in Inuvik.

Cook says he remains in a lot of pain from the accident, which began when he was trying to tie some fencing onto the front of a forklift.

He says he told the driver to lift the forks, "but he ended up putting it in gear and he ran me over with the loader," Cook said.

"And he went over me once, and he backed and he stayed on top of me. And he came out of the loader, then he looked to see where I was, and I was still under the tire and then he backed off of me."

Cook says he thought he was going to die.

Inuvik generally a safe workplace

Despite the pair of mishaps, Wong says serious workplace injuries are uncommon in Inuvik.

"Injuries are not that often. And as far as safety goes, it's really good in town actually right now," he said.

CBC's calls to the company were not returned.