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Image: Facebook/AIM Recycling Saint John

Inquest scheduled into death at AIM Recycling

By Brad Perry May 28, 2024 | 6:29 AM

A coroner’s inquest has been scheduled into the death of a worker at a Saint John scrapyard nearly two years ago.

Darrell Richards was injured at the American Iron and Metal (AIM) facility in west Saint John on June 30, 2022, and died in the hospital the next day.

The company faced four charges under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in connection with the death of the 60-year-old.

AIM pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of Richards. The remaining three charges were withdrawn.

The company was ordered to pay $100,000 to the New Brunswick Community College to set up a scholarship in Richards’ name.

Court heard that Richards suffered life-threatening injuries while cutting into a calender roll with a circular saw.

“Approximately 3,750 pounds of material under at least 1,500 tons of pressure released with enough force to send pieces of material several feet into the air and dispersed across the job site,” according to the agreed statement of facts read by Judge Claude Haché.

The release caused a deep laceration to Richards’ groin area, severing his femoral artery and causing severe blood loss.

Deputy Chief Coroner Michael Johnston and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses to determine the facts surrounding this death.

The jury will not make any finding of legal responsibility, but it will have the chance to make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths in the future.

The inquest at the Saint John courthouse is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 3, and last for five days.