Alberta employer cleared of safety charges after ‘freak’ accident at construction site

Company ‘went to considerable lengths to put effective policies, processes and procedures in place to ensure that a focus on safety permeated down to how crews did their work’
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/01/2019

An Alberta employer in the oil and gas industry has been cleared of multiple charges in the wake of an accident that seriously injured a worker. In dismissing the charges, the Alberta Provincial Court noted the company’s extensive safety programs and the fact that the unsafe conditions weren’t reasonably foreseeable by the company and its experienced workers, who called it a “freak” accident.

Midwest Pipelines is a pipeline construction company for the oil and gas industry with offices in Calgary and Spruce Grove, Alta. The company had a number of safety procedures for its projects, including a certificate of recognition from the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board and Alberta Safety for employee familiarity with its safety program. 

All workers received worksite orientation and the company had a lengthy manual around health, safety and environmental loss management that set out safe work practices for many tasks performed by employees.