An employer is accused of violating workplace safety regulations after a worker was fatally struck by a mechanical horse during a party.
Nathan Shair, a 22-year-old university student, was fatally struck in the head by a spring-loaded lever from the machine on July 12, 2007.
Shair was a summer intern at XI Technologies of Calgary, Alberta.
He was one of three people operating the machine at the company’s stampede party.
Shair died in the hospital the next day.
XI is accused of failing to reasonably ensure the safety of a worker and failing to ensure that all equipment used on the work site could operate as it was intended.
Radar’s Rentals is charged with failing to ensure the equipment it supplied was working properly.
Both companies have pleaded not guilty.
They face a maximum penalty of $500,000 or six months in prison.
This is how the mechanical horse worked: When a rider kicked the machine, a calf would spring out from underneath the horse frame, allowing the rider to rope it.
News accounts don’t say whether Shair was required to work at the party as part of his internship. However, in an interview, the victim’s sister characterized her brother’s participation at the event as “helping out.”
Should the employer be held responsible for the intern’s death in this case? Let us know what you think in the Comments Box below.