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Syncrude pays $390,000 penalty related to excavator fatality

Syncrude pays $390,000 penalty related to excavator fatality

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA. – Syncrude Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty April 4 to one charge under Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act for failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker.

The charges stem from an incident near Fort McKay on June 6, 2021. A worker was operating an excavator to build a berm when the bank the excavator was on slumped into water. The excavator cab became submerged and the worker drowned, a release said.

Under a creative sentence, the company will pay $390,000 to the David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management, the UAlberta Geotechnical Centre and the Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association.

The funds will be used to develop an employer best-practice guide and field-ready mobile app for trenching, excavation and adjacent work. These will provide real-time training, work planning and decision support to enhance safe work practices, the release said.

The creative sentence option under the OHS act allows for funds that would otherwise be paid as fines be directed to an organization or project to improve or promote workplace health and safety.

Both Syncrude and the Crown have up to 30 days to appeal the conviction.

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