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Brandon business fined in workplace incident from 2017

By: Harry Callaghan
Posted: October 27, 2020 08:11

Worker with J & R Excavating Ltd suffered critical injuries

Manitoba Finance is reminding employers to ensure that workplaces are safe and workers are adequately trained to perform their duties after employers were prosecuted for violations of the Workplace Safety and Health Act and its associated regulations.

On Nov. 3, 2017, a Portage la Prairie-based Cobalt Industries Ltd. worker was covering an opening located at the top of a flour bin and fell approximately 54 feet to the ground below, suffering critical injuries. After a thorough investigation by Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) officials, the employer was fined $52,000 and an additional $8,000 to be used for educating the public on occupational safety and health.

Cobalt Industries Ltd. is a welding and fabrication business focusing on manufacturing, food and agriculture industries.

On Sept. 19, 2017, a Brandon-based J & R Excavating Ltd. worker was attempting to free a gravel truck and trailer, which were stuck at a gravel pit located near Pierson. As the worker was attaching a tow chain to the front of the truck, a second worker operating an excavator began to push the trailer. The worker's jacket sleeve became entangled in the wheel of the truck causing critical injuries. After a thorough investigation by WSH officials, the employer was fined $17,500.

J & R Excavating Ltd. performs a variety of heavy construction work including basement excavations, utility excavations and road work.

Workplace Safety and Health officials work in collaboration with Manitoba Justice. Following an investigation by WSH, reports may be forwarded to Manitoba Justice for review. After review, Manitoba Justice officials may authorize charges under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

The province may publish information on stop work orders, administrative penalties and convictions to inform and educate employers and workers of their legal responsibilities under the act and regulations. These measures are applied as behaviour-changing tools to encourage safe work practices. More information can be found at https://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/safety/compliance.html 

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