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Fatal accident spurs new drill rig regulations

The death of 24-year-old crane apprentice Kyle Knox from injuries suffered on a subway construction site at York University in Toronto on Oct. 11, 2011 drove Mike Gallagher, business manager of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, to fight for better regulation to ensure safer operation of drill rigs, culminating in the Dec. 9 announcement he called a “good day” but also “cold comfort.”

Knox, an employee of Anchor Shoring & Caissons Ltd. who was operating a backhoe at the time of the incident, was crushed when a junior operator who was boring holes for Advanced Construction Techniques Ltd., using a crane-like rotary drill rig with an auger attached to a boom, swung the drill rig around on unstable soil and it toppled over. Knox was pronounced dead at the scene and five others were injured including an excavator who became permanently disabled.

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