The jury of a coroner’s inquest into the death of a Windsor construction worker has proposed the Ministry of Labour make six changes to rules and regulations governing heavy equipment.
A front-end loader struck and killed Takis Escoto in Windsor in June of 2011.
The six recommendations came after three days of testimony wrapped up Thursday. The recommendations include:
- All heavy equipment operators require a certificate of formal training and periodic refresher courses.
- A signal person shall be required for any situation when any heavy equipment is operating in reverse for an extended distance longer than the length of the machinery being used.
- When working in a job site accessible to the public, a flag person should be present at all times.
- Reverse speed should be mechanically governed on all heavy equipment machinery.
- All heavy equipment machinery is required to have audio communication between the operator and the signal person available at all times when needed.
- Recommend the usage of technology pertaining to backup detection systems on larger scale equipment including ultrasonic, radar, camera and radio frequency identification technology.
Frank Schwalm, counsel to the coroner, called the recommendations “reasonable, meaningful and thoughtful.”
“I would hope some, if not all, will be taken seriously and implemented,” Schwalm said.
Rob Petroni, the business manager for the Labourers' International Union of North America, Local 625 in Windsor, supports all six recommendations.
“They came forward with some great recommendations,” he said. “I’m fairly confident the associations and contractors will jump on board with these recommendations. I’d be shocked if they don’t endorse these.
“The cost is very minimal. Some of the recommendations are a zero cost.”
For example, Petroni said flag persons are already on constructions.
“It’s utilizing flag persons in a different manner,” he said.
Escoto ‘s father, Ramiro Escoto, said other factors, such as long hours, are also to blame for accidents like the one that killed his son.
“I’d like them to find the root of the problem and fix it,” he said.
The trial was tough on Ramiro Escoto.
“It’s reviving all the bad memories. It’s really, really hard when your son leaves the house to make a living and never comes back,” he said. “As a father, you still sometimes look at the door and expect to see your son.”
The recommendations will now be passed on to the Chief Coroner of Ontario and then to the Ministry of Labour.