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Inspectors targeting Alberta aggregates operations


August 14, 2014
By Government of Alberta

August 14, 2014, Edmonton, Alta. – Occupational Health and
Safety (OHS) officers are again inspecting sand and gravel crushing worksites
to determine whether the industry has improved its health and safety record.

August 14, 2014, Edmonton, Alta. – Occupational Health and
Safety (OHS) officers are again inspecting sand and gravel crushing worksites
to determine whether the industry has improved its health and safety record.

 

This focused inspection builds on last year’s campaign when OHS officers visited 64 sand
and gravel crushing worksites in eight weeks. The most common, and most
concerning, violation found during that campaign related to inadequate
equipment guards.

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This year, officers can issue tickets
to employers and workers for specific violations – an enforcement tool that was
not available last year. OHS tickets are immediate, on-the-spot fines of up to
$500 that can be issued to workers or employers. OHS can also issue
administrative penalties to employers who show chronic disregard for workplace
health and safety.

 

“These inspections will shine a light on sand and gravel
operators. I’m hopeful we’ll see improvement over last year’s performance, but
recent tragedies certainly raise the question whether that’s the case,” said Kyle
Fawcett, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour. “OHS officers will be
educating operators and enforcing the law where required. Our job is to make
sure worksites are putting people first by protecting workers.”

 

Officers will be looking for:

  • employers who haven’t addressed worksite hazards;
  • workers who do not hold all the necessary certifications;
  • workers not wearing personal protective equipment;
  • worksites without proper safeguards, such as equipment
    guarding on gravel conveyors; and
  • workers not properly operating equipment.

 

There have been two fatalities at gravel crushing operations
in Alberta this year. Inspectors are visiting crushing sites across the
province from now through September. Officers will continue random inspections
throughout the year.


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