Canada Coating Company Fined for Worker Death

THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2024


An industrial painting and coating company in Alberta, Canada, has plead guilty in court and agreed to pay a $350,000 fine after a worker died at a job site in 2021.

Sonic Coating Solutions was charged last year by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, alleging that the company violated several OHS Act sections that failed to ensure the health and safety of a worker.

What Happened

The OHS explained that, in October 2021, four workers were transferring pipe from the abrasive blasting to building to the paint shop for painting. The pipe then fell off of a loader and struck Realvin Perolina, 54, fatally injuring him.

Initially, Sonic Coating Solutions faced 14 charges regarding the incident; however, this week, the Government of Alberta’s Crown Prosecution Service withdrew all but one of the charges as part of the plea agreement.

According to the charges listed by the Alberta OHS, the original 14 counts included failure to ensure:

  • By requiring and enforcing the use of adequate, sufficient, and appropriate equipment, the safety of workers engaged in the work of that employer, workers not engaged in the work of that employer but present at the work site at which that work was being carried out and other persons at or in the vicinity of the work site who could be affected by hazards originating in the work site;
  • By preventing a worker from standing in proximity to or under a suspended load, the safety of their workers, other workers and other persons in the vicinity of the work site who could be affected by hazards originating in the work site;
  • By having in place a safe work procedure for moving pipes between buildings, the safety of their workers, other workers and other persons in the vicinity of the work site who could be affected by hazards originating in the work site;
  • By enforcing administrative controls, the health and safety of their workers, other workers and other persons in the vicinity of the work site who could be affected by hazards originating in the work site;
  • By rigging a load in a safe manner, the health and safety of their workers, other workers and other persons in the vicinity of the work site who could be affected by hazards originating in the work site;
  • By adequately supervising workers or stopping the work if they could not be adequately supervised, the safety of their worker, other workers and other persons in the vicinity of the work site who could be affected by hazards originating in the work site;
  • That if work was to be done that could endanger their worker, the employer must ensure that the work was done by a worker who was competent to do the work;
  • That work was arranged so that a load did not pass over workers by means of tag lines;
  • That if workers were in danger because of the movement of a load being lifted, lowered, or moved by a lifting device that a worker used a tag line of sufficient length to control the load;
  • That if workers were in danger because of the movement of a load being lifted, lowered, or moved by a lifting device that a tag line was used which allowed worker separation from the load;
  • That hand signals necessary to ensure a safe hoisting operation were given in accordance with section 191 by a competent signaler designated by the employer;
  • Where a worker could be injured if equipment or material was dislodged, moved, spilled or damaged, failed to ensure that all reasonable steps to ensure the equipment or material was contained, restrained or protected to eliminate the potential danger;
  • That if the movement of a load or the cab, counterweight or any other part of powered mobile equipment created a danger to workers, the employer must not permit a worker to remain within range of the moving load or part; and
  • That no part of an operator’s or passenger’s body extended beyond the side of a vehicle or powered mobile equipment while it was in operation.

On May 22, the company pled guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker, agreeing to pay a $350,000 fine in the Leduc Court of Justice. The fine is reportedly set to include a victim fine surcharge, which is reportedly a standard component of penalties under OHS laws.

Both the government's prosecutors and the company have 30 days to file an appeal.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Civil Penalty; Corrosion protection; Fatalities; Government; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Industrial coatings; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; NA; North America; Pipes; Program/Project Management; Safety; Violations; Workers

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