Record $1.5 Million in Penalties Imposed for Deaths of Chinese Oil Sands Workers

During construction of large metal storage tanks at an oil sands site, a roof collapsed when the wire cables holding it up snapped in high winds. Two Chinese workers were crushed to death; five others were injured. One of the companies involved in the work pleaded guilty in Sept. 2012 to three OHS violations after losing its challenge to the Canadian court’s jurisdiction over it. The court recently fined the company $200,000 and ordered it to pay $1.3 million to the Alberta Law Foundation to support outreach and education programs for temporary foreign workers and workers new to Alberta. According to an Alberta Justice spokesperson, the penalty is the largest ever imposed in the province on OHS charges [SSEC Canada Ltd., Govt. News Release, Jan. 24, 2013].