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Alberta company hit with record health and safety fine

Alberta company hit with record health and safety fine

Edmonton — An Alberta construction company has been slapped with the largest health and safety fine in the province’s history. H&H Stucco and Siding Ltd. was sentenced to pay a combined total of $345,000 — a $300,000 fine and $45,000 victim fine surcharge — after one of its workers fell to his death. The company pled guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker. On March 27, 2003, Alex Elsenkrein, 24, was killed after falling from a fourth floor balcony at a condominium construction site in Edmonton. The balcony reportedly had no guard rail and Elsenkrein, who had a visual impairment, was not wearing safety gear. Chris Chodan, a spokesman for Alberta Human Resources and Employment, called it a “very significant case” because a precedent has been set. “That is why the law was changed,” he told the Edmonton Journal. “It is justified. There should be a high penalty so people take it seriously.” The province changed the act in 2002, raising the maximum fine for violations of the OHSA from $150,000 to $500,000. Medican Developments Inc., the owner of the work site, is also facing charges.

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