Lobird blasters fined

The contractors who sent rocks flying into people’s living rooms in a botched construction blast two years ago must pay over $50,000 in fines, a Yukon court decided Friday.

The contractors who sent rocks flying into people’s living rooms in a botched construction blast two years ago must pay over $50,000 in fines, a Yukon court decided Friday.

The Department of Community Services, P.S. Sidhu Trucking and blast supervisor William Cratty will pay fines for endangering workers and the residents of the Lobird subdivision during the May 6, 2008 blast, said Judge John Faulkner in his sentence.

The blast sent a wave of sharp, granite rocks, some as heavy as 22 kilograms, flying toward the trailers in Lobird.

Several residents were in close proximity to where the rocks eventually landed.

But luckily, no one was hurt.

All three parties plead not guilty when their trial for offenses in the Occupational Health and Safety Act took place in May.

The Yukon Department of Community Services failed to “meaningfully” review the blast plans for construction of the Hamilton Boulevard extension in 2008.

For that, it got the biggest fine – $30,000.

P.S. Sidhu Trucking, a mid-sized construction company, was meant to provide hands-on supervision during the blast.

Faulkner felt $21,000 was the appropriate fine for its role.

And William Cratty, the blast supervisor who failed to provide his blaster with the proper instructions, must pay $2,500, the judge decided.

The actual blaster, Peter Hildebrand, pled guilty for his role and received $1,000 in fines prior to the trial.

During the sentencing hearing, the Yukon Federation of Labour suggested the fines pay for a monument for injured workers.

The defence disagreed and proposed the money go to Northern Safety Network Yukon, an organization that promotes safe work practices.

Faulkner sided with the defence in his sentence.

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