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Reasons for Fishing Company’s Sentence in Fatality Released

A worker on a fishing vessel was crushed to death by a hydraulically operated door to a hold containing shrimp. The door had been inadvertently closed by a co-worker, who didn’t know how to stop it from closing. The fishing company pleaded guilty to two safety offences. At sentencing, the court noted that a company engineer was aware of a problem with the switch operating the door. Also, the company didn’t have an appropriate OHS program to ensure workers knew how to operate the hatch. But the company did take steps to address the causes of the incident, hired an outside consultant to make safety recommendations and implemented an inspection program. So the court fined the company $73,260 and ordered it to pay $5,000 to the OHS Department for a fund dedicated to OHS education [R. v. Katsheshuk Fisheries Ltd., [2014] CanLII 50665 (NL PC), Aug. 25, 2014].