New Brunswick

J.D. Irving faces charges after worker's death at Sussex sawmill

J.D. Irving, Limited has been charged with two counts of violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act in connection with the death of a worker last year at the company's Sussex sawmill.

Death of 52-year-old William Gregg in February 2016 leads to charges under provincial workplace safety laws

A 52-year-old employee at J.D. Irving's sawmill in Sussex died in February 2016 after a workplace accident. The company has now been charged with two counts under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. (CBC)

J.D. Irving, Limited has been charged with two counts of violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act in connection with the death of a worker last year at the company's Sussex sawmill.

William Gregg, who had worked at the mill for 26 years, suffered a head injury in the chipper building on Feb. 29, 2016.

The 52-year-old man later died in hospital.

The charges follow an investigation by WorksafeNB.

They allege the company failed to provide the necessary supervision to ensure an employee's health and safety, and failed to ensure a machine that was to be cleaned was "locked out" and could not be energized.

On its website the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety defines the practice of lockout, in part, as: "The isolation of energy from the system (a machine, equipment, or process) which physically locks the system in a safe mode:" 

Mike McGovern, Worksafe's corporate secretary and general counsel, said in a statement that as part of the investigation, an external consultant was retained to review the role of sleep in the incident.

In provincial court Tuesday,  J.D. Irving lawyer Catherine Lahey requested an adjournment, citing a "significant volume" of disclosure.

A spokesperson for JDI could not be immediately reached Tuesday.

There was no plea, and the company will be back in court May 15.

Gregg, who lived in Mount Pisgah, was a drum operator at the mill.

He is survived by his wife, Janet and two daughters.

now