Irving Shipbuilding is facing four charges under Nova Scotia's Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker suffered a serious head injury at the Halifax Shipyard in 2014.

The company was arraigned on the charges in Halifax provincial court on Tuesday and the case was adjourned until Nov. 12.

An information to obtain a search warrant filed with the court says the charges relate to work that was being done on Canadian Coast Guard patrol vessels on Jan. 3, 2014.

An occupational health and safety officer alleges in the document that a wire rope loop attached to a ship's cradle broke as it was being pulled by a winch, striking a worker employed by Irving Equipment Ltd. in the head.

The ship was being moved along a series of tracks at the shipyard during a launch attempt when the loop broke.

The document says the worker suffered a fractured skull and brain injury.

It outlines a series of events that led to the accident in a procedure that had been completed on six ships previously.

"However on this attempt, the cradle failed to move, resulting in a static line pull," the officer alleges in the document. "As the winch continued pulling the wire rope, excess strain caused the wire rope to break at the point where the wire loop attached to the cradle."

Among other things, the charges allege that Irving Shipbuilding did not ensure that the operator of a machine or tool was competent and that it failed to take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of people at or near the workplace.