May 18th, 2024

Trial opens into death of feed company employee; Cardston firm facing several charges

By Herald on January 12, 2021.

Delon Shurtz
Lethbridge Herald
A southern Alberta livestock feed company is on trial in Lethbridge following the death of an employee three years ago.
Taurus Natural Inc. faces several charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which allege the Cardston company failed to ensure the health and safety of 41-year-old Scott Forsyth, who died on the job in January 2018.
OHS alleges Forsyth climbed into an enclosed dry mineral mixing hopper to unplug the bottom auger connection, but the mixer control had not been isolated and locked out. The mixer was activated while the worker was inside the hopper, and the steel rotating agitator pinned him to the inside wall of the hopper.
The allegations have not been proven, but the matter is on trial for the next two weeks in Lethbridge provincial court. Co-Crown prosecutors Alana Elliot and Jasmine Grewall expect to conclude their case by Friday, after calling a dozen witnesses to testify.
In addition to the charges under the OHS Act, Taurus Natural faces breaches of OHS regulations by failing to ensure the worker and another employee were trained in the safe operation of the equipment Forsyth was required to operate.
Taurus also faces numerous charges under the OHS Code for, among other things, failing to assess its worksite and identify existing or potential hazards before work began at the site; failing to ensure that equipment was operated, handled and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications or the specifications certified by a professional engineer; failing to ensure the worker was trained by a competent person; and failure to ensure the worker was protected against the release of hazardous energy that caused his death.
Each of the charges carries a maximum penalty of $500,000.
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