The City of Edmonton has been handed a penalty of $325,000 for violating a safety policy in relation to the November 2016 death of a city tunnel foreman whose head was pinned between machinery and a wall.
In a sentencing handed down in the Provincial Court of Alberta Wednesday, the city received the fine for failing to provide safeguards for workers if they were to come into contact with any hazards. Saturnino Sonson, 44 at the time of the accident, was a tunnel foreman on a drainage tunnel in southwest Edmonton being constructed with a tunnel-boring machine.
This machine involved the use of a conveyor needing to be adjusted when it became misaligned, which was a “frequent occurrence,” according to the agreed statement of facts presented in court.
“Workers were not provided formal training on how to adjust or align the conveyor,” read the court document. “Instead, workers developed a practice of centring the conveyor over the rail cars through observing and/or speaking to other workers on how to perform the task of adjusting or aligning the conveyor, unaware of the potential hazards associated with their practice.”
The city also acknowledged it didn’t have the correct operation and maintenance manual for the machine at the time of the fatality.