Home Occupational Health & Safety Alberta road construction company fined $295,000 after worker’s fatal incident

Alberta road construction company fined $295,000 after worker’s fatal incident

by HR Law Canada

An Alberta paving and road construction company, Brooks Asphalt & Aggregate Ltd., part of Smith Group Holdings Ltd., has been fined $295,000 following a workplace fatality.

The ruling was handed down by the Brooks Court of Justice on March 6, where the company pleaded guilty to one count under the OHS Act for failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker. The plea resulted in the withdrawal of the remaining charges against Brooks Asphalt & Aggregate Ltd. and all charges against Smith Group Holdings Ltd.

The case stems from a tragic event on July 23, 2021, in the County of Newell, where a worker lost their life due to asphyxiation while cleaning a gravel bin with the conveyor system running—a clear violation of safety protocols.

As part of the sentencing, the company is required to pay total penalties amounting to $295,000. This includes a nominal fine of $1,000, with the majority of the funds allocated to initiatives aimed at preventing future incidents. Specifically, $244,000 will go to the Alberta Construction Safety Association to support the creation of a 3D incident re-creation video, educational materials, and a safety session that will be available to various industries.

The remaining $50,000 will be donated to the Brooks Fire Department for the acquisition of new rescue equipment.

This case highlights the “creative sentence” approach under the OHS Act, which allows for fines to be directed towards projects that enhance workplace health and safety rather than solely imposing financial penalties.

Both the company and the Crown retain the right to appeal the conviction or the penalty within a 30-day period following the ruling.

You may also like

About Us

HR Law Canada is dedicated to covering labour and employment news for lawyers, HR professionals and employers. Published by North Wall Media.