Man dies following workplace incident at Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax

A spokesperson for the shipyard tells CTV Atlantic the contractor was injured at approximately 6:45 p.m. Tuesday while servicing a piece of their equipment. (Photo: CTV Atlantic)

A man who was injured at the Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax last Tuesday has died as a result of his injuries.

Representatives from Unifor – the union at the shipyard – report that 40-year-old Trevor O’Neil died Friday night in hospital.

O’Neil was struck in the head by a piece of pressurized metal and sent to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Halifax Regional Police and the Nova Scotia Department of Labour are investigating the incident. Irving Shipbuilding says it is also investigating.

“We would certainly look at whether there is any criminal element or aspects to the investigation,” said Halifax Regional Police Const. John MacLeod. “Otherwise, it will lie with the Department of Labour.”

The Department of Labour says it has issued a stop-work order on the equipment involved in the incident and the surrounding work area.

However, the department wouldn’t release any other information, including where exactly the incident happened, or what sort of equipment the man was working on.

“We have no further information to share at this time,” said a labour official in an emailed statement. “We are respectfully declining your request for an interview, as our investigation is ongoing.”

The company did say officials were on site Wednesday to provide emotional support for workers.

The president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour says workers are injured or killed on the job far too often.

“Roughly, there’s about 1,000 workers that get killed on the job here in Canada, so any time we hear this stuff, it give us pause,” said Danny Cavanaugh. “We hope the individual that was hurt gets a speedy recovery and it doesn’t turn into another workplace death in the province.”

Officials say there was a moment of silence at the shipyard Saturday morning that all employees observed.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started and has raised over $12,000 in 2 days.

The money raised will go directly to O’Neil’s mother and family.

To donate to O’Neil’s GoFundMe campaign, you can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/trevor-o039neil039s-family-fund

With files from CTV Atlantic's Natasha Pace