Alberta Safety Minister to Increase Fines for Construction Breaches

An article published in the Vancouver Sun reports that Hector Goudreau, Alberta’s Minister of Municipal Affairs, has announced that he will push for steeper penalties for companies that violate worker’s safety.

Goudreau has announced this new initiative in light of a recent legal settlement where a Calgary judge ordered the maximum $15,000 fine against two companies for construction safety breaches that resulted in the death of three year-old Michelle Krsek.  Krsek was struck by a piece of sheet metal that fell from a worksite.

Remarking that the current maximum fines are “woefully inadequate,” Goudreau agreed to step up to the plate and increase fines, in hopes of avoiding further unnecessary tragedies.

Had a worker, and not a bystander, been struck and killed by the sheet metal, the maximum penalty would have been $500,000 with a possibility of six months of jail time.  Advocates are hoping that the half-million dollar fine will be applied to all workplace infractions going forward.

At present, no charges have been laid under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in Krsek’s case.

Alberta Municipal Affairs is working with the City of Calgary and is reviewing recommendations which will be incorporated into the new legislation.  The province also has a safety code council working group conducting consultations on the new, proposed act.  While there is no set date for the new legislation to take hold, the government hopes to roll out the new initiative as quickly as possible.

Under the new law, greater accountability will fall on the shoulders of construction companies and its affiliates.  Stricter codes of conduct will also be enforced, along with “more effective” fines.

Lax worker safety protocols are a huge problem, not only for workers and bystanders, but for all Canadian taxpayers.  Disability and health insurance claims that arise out of poor working conditions cost the Canadian government millions of dollars each year.

People living in the province of Alberta should report any suspicious activity to Mr. Goudreau’s office immediately.


1 Response to “Alberta Safety Minister to Increase Fines for Construction Breaches”

  1. 1 PJ Boothe March 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I don’t know much about the construction companies in Calgary, but they have always done a great job with time. I don’t see them stick around much, so they must be getting their job done quickly!

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