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Charges laid in 2022 death of Alberta contractor at Suncor mine

Two years after a contractor was fatally struck by a piece of equipment at Suncor’s Base Mine near Fort McMurray, Alta., a total of 18 charges have been laid against Suncor and two other companies.

The 26-year-old worker died on July 7, 2022, at a shovel maintenance pad in the mine, about 30 kilometres north of Fort McMurray.

Suncor Energy Services Inc., Joy Global Canada Ltd. and NCSG Crane Heavy Haul Services Ltd. were charged last month under Alberta’s occupational health and safety legislation.

The charges detail how the heavy equipment technician was working on shovel maintenance when he was struck by a piece of equipment that fell from a crane.

A pendant line fell on the man as he worked under a suspended load.

The charges include failing to ensure workers engaged in removing and handling components from a boom shovel were adequately trained, and failing to ensure the work site was set up safely so that a load would not pass over workers.

The companies have also been charged for failing to ensure sharp edges on loads being hoisted from the line were properly guarded to prevent damage to the slings or straps of the rigging.

The worker was employed by Joy Global Canada Ltd., a Komatsu Mining Corp. group company. In a statement to CBC, Komatsu officials said worker safety is a priority for the operator. 

“This deeply saddening accident has resulted in charges against three companies, including ours,” the operator said.

“Komatsu prioritizes workplace health and safety above all else, and we recognize this accident has profoundly affected family members, co-workers and their communities.” 

Heather MacCallum, president of NCSG Crane Heavy Haul Services Ltd., said the company continues to take the incident and the safety of their workers seriously. 

“We have been deeply saddened by this tragic death, and the loss suffered by this individual’s family and friends as well as many others,” MacCallum said in a statement to CBC.

CBC News is awaiting comment from company officials at Suncor.

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