June 17th, 2024

Contractor facing charges over employee death

By Tim Kalinowski on September 2, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

A court case involving a construction contractor who had a temporary employee die on the job while working on the City of Lethbridge’s water treatment plant in 2019 will be returning to court later this month.
Maple Reinders Constructors Inc. is facing eight Operational Health and Safety Act charges associated with the death of its employee in Lethbridge. The charges were laid in February of this year after a lengthy investigation, and include failure to ensure the health and safety of a worker, failure to assess its worksite and identify potential hazards, failure to prepare a report of the results of a hazard assessment, failure to ensure that a hazard assessment was repeated when a new work process was introduced, and three separate charges of failure to ensure equipment was used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
A special prosecutor from Calgary, Brian Kiers, has been assigned to the case. Kiers and defence Calgary lawyer Loretta Bouwmeester of Mathews Dinsdale spoke briefly to the charges in Lethbridge provincial court on Wednesday and simply asked the matter be adjourned by consent until Sept. 29 while they continue to exchange materials necessary to the advancement of the case. The adjournment was granted by Judge Jerry LaGrandeur.
On March 1, 2019 a 51-year-old man was hired as day labour from Hire Standard Inc. by Maple Reinders to aid their construction work at the City of Lethbridge’s water treatment plant. OHS confirmed the man was struck by a piece of wheeled equipment known as a telehandler and succumbed to his injuries as a result of the incident.
A telehandler is a type of wheeled mobile crane, or boom lift, used to lift heavy items up to high places. Witnesses at the scene told The Herald at the time the incident appeared to have occurred outside of the plant where a piece of industrial equipment was observed to be flipped on its side.

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