Coaching was poor earlier than employee was fatally crushed at Montreal ferris wheel, security board finds

Quebec’s workplace safety board is blaming deficient safety practices at the ferris wheel in Montreal’s Old Port for the death of a worker at the tourist attraction on Christmas Day 2021.

The safety board’s report on the workplace death, released today, says Riley Valcin, 22, died after he was trapped in the machinery that spins the 60-metre-tall structure.

Valcin was clearing snow from the drive mechanism while the wheel was in operation, and the board says the area where Valcin died should never have been accessible to workers.

Board inspector Judy Major says workers at the ferris wheel were not properly trained and “improvised” a dangerous method of clearing snow.

Inspection reports released by the board indicate the safety inspection log book for the ferris wheel had not been filled out since March 10, 2021.

The company that owns the ferris wheel — La Grande Roue de Montréal — said today in a statement it co-operated fully with the province’s safety board and that “all major corrective measures requested have been implemented.”

The owners of the wheel rent space in the city’s Old Port on land owned by federal Crown corporation Canada Lands Company.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2022.

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