A 'misunderstanding' between Ottawa Paramedics and City of Ottawa being blamed for lack of information
Published Sunday, March 19, 2017 6:34PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 20, 2017 11:24AM EDT
A "misunderstanding" between Ottawa Paramedics and the City of Ottawa is being blamed for a lack of information about an injury inside the LRT tunnel on Saturday .
The incident happened inside the LRT tunnel at Queen and Kent Streets around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18th, 2017. Ottawa Fire Services sent out an initial release saying they were called to the area after reports of a “serious injury” inside the tunnel.
In a statement issued Saturday night, the Rideau Transit Group said reports indicated a worker was struck by a hose supplying concrete. They said he was able to walk out of the tunnel under his own power before being taken to hospital.
The Ministry of Labour has been notified of the incident.
Requests to Ottawa Paramedics for updates on the patient’s condition at the time of transport were denied and all questions were deferred to City of Ottawa media relations. Paramedics told CTV Ottawa on Sunday that they were ordered not to comment on LRT related injuries by Corporate Communications at the City of Ottawa.
The City of Ottawa denies that claim and told CTV Ottawa no such directive exists. Staff said there was a “misunderstanding” between paramedics and city staff.
“Paramedic thought that Media Relations was going to send out the information about the incident but the Media Relations voicemail was not properly set up on Saturday. When this came to our attention, we notified Paramedics who sent out a release (attached) as per our current protocol,” said Caroline Barriere, a media relations officer with the city of Ottawa in an emailed statement.
Shortly before the city’s official statement was issued, Ottawa Paramedics sent a release about the incident. In it they said paramedics responded to the tunnel after calls of a “traumatic injury.” They said a man in his 40s was helped out of the tunnel and treated for “minor injuries.” He was taken to hospital as a precaution in stable condition.
It's the second time in a week a worker has been injured while working on the LRT tunnel. Last Saturday, a worker was hurt at the Parliament station. That resulted in the Ministry of Labour ordering a few safety changes.
In its statement, the RTG said the group "continue to comply with all industry standards in terms of incident management and notification (such as notifying the Ministry of Labour when an incident/injury warrants)."
The statement goes on to say that "at any given time up to 1100 employees (this includes subcontractors) are currently working on the project. To date over 4.9 million hours have been worked on the project. We have had 11 lost time injuries for an LTI rate of 0.32."
The OLRT claims that rate is better than the industry average for heavy civil construction in Ontario.
Work on the LRT tunnel continues on all locations.