Contractors involved in CHARS construction fined for 2015 workplace injury

Two contractors involved in building the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay pleaded guilty to Nunavut Safety Act offences Tuesday in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.

Money from the fines goes to the WSCC’s Workers' Protection Fund

The main research building of CHARS under construction. Construction on the station in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, began in 2014. (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada/flickr)

Two contractors involved in building the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay pleaded guilty to Nunavut Safety Act offences Tuesday in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.

On Aug. 18, 2015, a worker fractured his left tibia while concrete was being poured. After an investigation, the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission laid charges.

Kitnuna Projects Inc. accepted responsibility for failing to provide a safe workplace and was fined $60,000, to be paid within 30 days.

Taking into consideration that it was not a serious injury, that the company has changed how it pours concrete and that this was its first Safety Act offence, the fine amount was a joint submission from the Crown and defence, which Justice Beverly Brown accepted.

The fine was $52,173.91 plus a victim surcharge of $7,826.09. The maximum fine permitted for the offence in the act is $500,000 and a year of jail time.

Best Choice Construction accepted responsibility for the lesser charge of not providing adequate safety training, though the Crown did not allege a lack of training caused the injury.

The company has 90 days to pay a $15,000 fine and a $1,000 victim surcharge. Per the act, the money will be put into the WSCC's Workers' Protection Fund.

Charges were withdrawn for all of the other co-accused in the incident, including EllisDon Corporation, EXP Services Inc., Dan Cress, Abraham Leonard Houweling, Justin McDonnell and Rod Osmond.