Territory hit with occupational safety fines

An occupational safety officer didn't have to move far from their desk to dole out a fine on July 20.

An occupational safety officer didn’t have to move far from their desk to dole out a fine on July 20.

The infraction in question occurred at the headquarters of the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board at 401 Strickland Avenue.

Staff with Yukon’s Department of Public Works were found to be working at heights without adequate training. The territory was subsequently fined $3,500 – a 40 per cent increase over the base penalty because of the “high severity” of the offence.

It was one of three occupational safety fines the territory would be hit with in September. (Fines are only issued after an investigation, hence the delay.)

Another fine, for $1,000, was issued at a territorial maintenance workshop at 113 Industrial Road on July 27. The third, for $1,500, was issued at Faro’s school on August 20.

The compensation board publishes fine lists on a quarterly basis in the hope of shaming offenders into improving workplace safety.

The board also outed two companies that received occupational fines in September. One was Kodiak Construction, which was fined $2,500 for failing to ensure its workers used fall protection while working on a roof in Watson Lake.

The other company was Provincial Pole Specialists. It was fined $2,500 for failing to ensure an ATV, being used by an employee in Carmacks, was safe to use.

In August, a numbered company – 19277 Yukon Inc. o/a Bomac Builders – was hit with a $2,500 fine for failure to ensure workers used fall protection in Whitehorse.

In July, Universal Renovations received two fines, totaling $7,500. Both were for failure to “adequately supervise and instruct workers.” One was issued in Whitehorse, the other in Dawson City.

That same month, Thomas Contracting Yukon was fined $1,000 for failure to comply with orders issued by a safety officer.

In June, New North Truck and Equipment was fined a total of $4,000 for four offences: failure to ensure workers were protected by barriers, failure to provide and maintain first aid services, failure to ensure workers were properly trained and supervised and failure to ensure safe work procedures were in place.

The worst offender had been previously outed: Calgary Tunnelling and Horizontal Augering, which was fined a total of $17,500 for four offences. These fines were connected with an accident that resulted in a worker receiving serious internal injuries while operating an auger at the Whitehorse sewage lagoon on July 13, 2009.

Howard Electric was fined $1,000 for working too close to a high-voltage power line near the Takhini Trailer Park on June 9.

And Norcope Enterprises was fined $2,500 for failing to ensure workers were adequately supervised while excavating near electrical cables at Takhini North. That penalty is still under review.