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Contractor fined after worker critically injured on Thunder Bay highway job

DCN-JOC News Services
Contractor fined after worker critically injured on Thunder Bay highway job

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — A Sudbury, Ont.-area firm was convicted of a health and safety offence after a worker was struck and critically injured when a drill rig tipped over on a highway construction jobsite near Thunder Bay, Ont.

Consbec Inc. of Val Caron is a surface and underground mining and civil construction contractor. Provincial Offences Court in Thunder Bay determined on Dec. 11 that the firm failed to ensure the worker had been provided with sufficient information, instruction and supervision on the safe operation of the drill rig, contrary to section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The jobsite was on Highway 11/17 in Dorion Township. On April 29, 2022, Consbec was doing contract work to help expand the highway.

One worker was operating a drill rig that was advancing a series of boreholes in the ditch for rock blasting.

The worker positioned the drill rig on uneven ground with the tracks slightly overhanging a small embankment, then moved between the rig and a rock shoulder.

When the worker extended the boom of the drill rig and set the drill rig mast upright, the rig tipped forward on the uneven ground, striking the worker.

At the time of the incident, the worker’s direct supervisor had briefly left the ditch to return equipment to a nearby storage unit on the same project site.

Consbec pleaded guilty to the OHSA offence and was fined $125,000 by Justice of the Peace Nancy Tulloch.

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