Every Worker Counts: Paying Tribute Through More Prevention

Nelson Senechal

As part of Health and Safety Week, we wanted to share some testimonials that remind us that health is priceless, and that construction sites remain environments where we must redouble our vigilance to protect ourselves and our colleagues.  

Nelson Senechal is Regional Quality Coordinator for our Quebec City office. He joined Pomerleau 4 years ago. Nelson spent his entire career in the industry, working for various architectural firms and general contractors as a project manager until a work accident turned his and his family’s life upside down.  

Nelson’s nephew, Alex-Antoine Proulx, was originally from Rimouski and worked as a construction labourer on the La Romaine, Quebec, site. A brilliant student with a passion for manual labour, motocross and nature, Alex-Antoine tragically lost his life on August 16, 2016, on this construction site. 

 While unloading a semi-trailer truck, Alex-Antoine fell a fatal 2.75 m. A lack of training and inadequate work methods caused this accident. 

This tragedy has profoundly affected the lives of many of Alex-Antoine's loved ones. Some of his colleagues left the construction industry, while others returned to the worksite, but not without transforming their lives. 

As for Nelson, he left the industry for three years. He came back changed.

Alex-Antoine's accident changed my values and priorities. The productivity or financial profitability of a project is priceless compared to safety.

Passionate about his job, Nelson only considered his return to the industry on one condition.

The condition for me to return to the industry was to find an employer with high health and safety standards.

Today, Nelson and his family are sharing Alex-Antoine's story so that it can serve as a lesson and prevent similar accidents from happening again. 

The industry is faced with a workforce that is increasingly young and lacking years of experience. It's the employer's responsibility to not leave them to their own devices and to train them.

Nelson and his family recognize a positive evolution within the industry, with increased awareness of the importance of safety and training. 

Unfortunately, tragedy insights change.

Alex-Antoine's accident is now a subject used for training on Pomerleau's construction sites. 

When I hear from my employer that the priority is for everyone to be able to go home, I can assure you that this phrase touches me deeply and takes on its full meaning.

Memorial installed in La Romaine.

In memory of Alex-Antoine Proulx.