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'Nothing lacking in training'

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A local construction company manager testified an employee who was electrocuted on a job site three years ago had completed hours of safety training over his 12 years of employment.

Jamie Lascelle was 32 and a married father of five when he died of injuries at a Lyndhurst job site while working for Ken Miller Excavating on May 18, 2010. A coroner's inquest into Lascelle's death began Monday at the Brockville court house.

Dr. Alexander Boag, an anatomical pathologist from Kingston General Hospital, testified Lascelle died from electrocution. Lascelle had charring and burning on his left wrist and fingers, as well as blistering and abrasions on his right hand, Boag said.

Lascelle was helping to unload equipment off of a truck at the time of the incident. Rigging and hoisting methods were used; Lascelle was standing in a ditch when a boom truck also being used in the unloading process touched live electrical wires on Jonas Street in Lyndhurst.

Ken Miller Excavating and Anchor Concrete - another company working on the site - provided reports of their safety protocols to the inquest, over which Dr. Robert Reddoch is presiding.

“We have a stack of manuals about this thick on safety,” said Ray Heffernan, a Ken Miller Excavating project manager, motioning about 30 centimetres with his hands.

Heffernan said workers take about four hours of mandatory safety training when hired by the company, as well as other courses when required. Lascelle took part in a four-day course on electrical safety, Heffernan said, as well as training from Ontario Hydro.

Ministry of Labour investigator Dan Joslin said both Ken Miller Excavating and Anchor Concrete were following proper protocols.

“Their policies were very comprehensive,” Joslin said. “We found nothing lacking in training.”

Forensic toxicologist Galiena Tse, from the Centre of Forensic Sciences, testified Lascelle had tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in his bloodstream at the time of the incident. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana and can remain in the bloodstream for days.

“We can't determine when the individual took the THC,” said Tse, who also said it cannot be determined how the marijuana was taken.

When asked if the THC could have affected Lascelle's reflexes and performance on the job, Tse said that was “dependant on the person's pattern of use and how tolerant they are.”

Heffernan said he never saw Lascelle show up for work in any way inebriated during the 12 years Lascelle worked for the company.

The jury also heard from Ken Miller Excavating labourer Steve Kelsey, who was with Lascelle at the time of the accident.

Kelsey was on the truck helping to unload the equipment while an Anchor Concrete employee operated the boom truck.

Kelsey said he heard a horrible noise and saw Lascelle fall to the ground. He tried to resuscitate Lascelle, who he called “a great buddy.”

“He did have a heartbeat for awhile,” Kelsey said.

“It felt like forever, but it was maybe only 15 or 20 seconds.”

Kelsey, who had been friends with Lascelle since the two started working together, rode in the ambulance to Kingston General Hospital.

“I just couldn't let him go by himself. I had to be there for him,” Kelsey said.

Both expert witnesses and witnesses to the accident were called to testify by Crown attorney Monica Heine. Three more witnesses will be called today as the coroner's inquest continues.

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