British Columbia

Companies, bosses fined combined $156K after B.C. worker falls to his death from bridge

Two companies and two supervisors have been fined in provincial court in Fort St. John, B.C., after a worker fell to his death from a bridge under construction in March 2019.

Penalties show 'serious enforcement consequences' when employers don't keep staff safe: WorkSafeBC

Fort St. John is pictured in April 2019. Four fines have been issued after a worker fell to his death one month earlier from a bridge under construction. (Justin McElroy/CBC)

Two companies and two supervisors have been fined in provincial court in Fort St. John, B.C., after a worker fell to his death from a bridge under construction in March 2019.

A statement from WorkSafeBC, the provincial worker safety agency, said when the man fell off a bridge under construction in northeastern B.C., he had no fall-protection equipment and there were no guardrails to prevent his fall.

WorkSafe said Brian Baker, Randolph Kosick, Yoho Resources and Great Northern Bridgeworks previously pleaded guilty to charges under the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

Court documents show Yoho Resources, the main contractor, and Great Northern Bridgeworks, the victim's employer, have each been fined $70,000, plus a 15 per cent victim fine surcharge.

Bridge foreman Randolph Kosick has been fined $8,500, Yoho's site supervisor Brian Baker is fined $7,500, plus victim fine surcharges, and they and company representatives must attend court-ordered health and safety courses.

Al Johnson, head of prevention services for WorkSafe, said the guilty pleas and sentences show there are "serious enforcement consequences'' when employers don't live up to their obligations to keep workers safe.

The WorkSafe statement did not identify the victim.

WorkSafe investigates occupational health and safety matters and said its probes may become prosecution investigations when "actions taken to ensure worker safety fall significantly below the standard of due diligence.''

"Every worker has the right to go home healthy and safe at the end of the day,'' Johnson said in the statement.

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