Saskatoon's Shercom Industries fined $420K 3 years after teen died on work site

The fine was in relation to the worksite death of Cade Sprackman, an 18-year-old recent high school graduate who had been saving up money to go to film school.

18-year-old Cade Sprackman had been saving money to go to film school, according to family

Cade Sprackman had only been working at Shercom Industries' tire-recycling plant north of Saskatoon for three weeks before his death at the site. (Facebook)

A Saskatoon company has been fined $300,000 plus a surcharge of $120,000 three years after an 18-year-old worker died at the company's industrial work site north of the city.

Provincial court judge Marilyn Gray delivered the sentence against Shercom Industries Inc. on Thursday, after the company pleaded guilty to not ensuring a safe workplace under The Saskatchewan Employment Act and workplace safety regulations. 

At issue was the 2015 death of recent high school graduate Cade Sprackman, who was originally from Melfort, Sask., and had recently moved to Saskatoon from Hudson Bay, Sask.

Sprackman had only been working at Shercom's tire-recycling plant in the Corman Industrial Park for three weeks before being fatally injured at the site on Jan. 27, 2015.

Sprackman with his parents, Jerry and Michelle. (Facebook)

Sprackman, who had been saving money to attend film school, was caught in a tire shredder and forced to call 911 on his phone when his cries for help went unheard, according to family friend Lucille Frehlich.

There was no arm's-reach mechanism to stop the machine, though the company did install one after Sprackman's death at a cost of around $2,500, according to Gray's decision. 

The RCMP said at the time that Sprackman was unresponsive at the scene when officers and emergency crews arrived. They were unable to revive him.

The initial RCMP investigation suggested Sprackman was injured by a piece of machinery.

Crown prosecutor Buffy Rodgers had asked for a fine of $750,000, including a 40 per cent surcharge.

She said the $300,000 plus surcharge fine Gray handed down was one of the largest of its kind she's ever seen.

Shercom's defence attorney, John Agioritis, had asked for a fine of $150,000 including the surcharge.

Sprackman's death isn't the only safety incident involving the Shercom work site in the industrial park in recent years.

In April 2016, a fire spread from a Shercom warehouse to another building and tied up firefighters for more than 24 hours.

About the Author

Guy Quenneville

Journalist at CBC Saskatoon

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